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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
John

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8
Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12
Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16
Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20
Chapter 21

Book Overview - John

by Gary H. Everett

STUDY NOTES ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

Using a Theme-based Approach

to Identify Literary Structures

By Gary H. Everett

THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

January 2013Edition

All Scripture quotations in English are taken from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. Some words have been emphasized by the author of this commentary using bold or italics.

All Old Testament Scripture quotations in the Hebrew text are taken from Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: With Westminster Hebrew Morphology, electronic ed, Stuttgart; Glenside PA: German Bible Society, Westminster Seminary, 1996, c 1925, morphology c 1991, in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

All New Testament Scripture quotations in the Greek text are taken from Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition (with Morphology), eds. Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft (United Bible Societies), c 1966, 1993, 2006, in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

All Hebrew and Greek text for word studies are taken from James Strong in The New Strong"s Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, c 1996, 1997, in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

The Crucifixion image on the book cover was created by the author's daughter Victoria Everett in 2012.

Gary H. Everett, 1981-2013

All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form without prior permission of the author.

Foundational Theme - Justification Through Faith in Jesus Christ

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Song of Solomon ,

that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

Structural Theme - The Five-Fold Witness of God the Father that Jesus Christ is the Son of God

If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

There is another that beareth witness of me;

and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.

John 5:31-32

Nevertheless he left not himself without witness,

Acts 14:17

Imperative Theme - The Office of the Pastor

He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?

Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me?

And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things;

thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

John 21:17

Untitled

Oh beautiful home, a beautiful land

a beautiful place so lovely and grand.

We'll sit and we'll gaze for ages on high

The one who has saved our souls from all sin.

We'll walk and we'll talk with Him in that day

And from His dear side

we never will stray.

Oh, how my heart yearns to meet Him on high

To his lovely home when free I shall fly

The Father will say well done on that day

If true to our Lord on earth we shall stay

He's promised to come from heaven on high

Oh, glorious day we'll never more cry

No words can describe the joy we shall share

Oh, beautiful home so lovely and fair

Where prophets of old and loved ones await

A mansion so fair inside of those gates

I want to go there to be with my Lord

I'll trust in his grace believe in his word

It's only a time of waiting down here

Till finally the day the trumpet we'll here.

(Flossie Powell Everett 1910-1987)

INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures supports the view of the verbal, plenary inspiration of the biblical text of the Holy Scriptures, meaning that every word originally written down by the authors in the sixty-six books of the Holy Canon were God-breathed when recorded by men, and that the Scriptures are therefore inerrant and infallible. Any view less than this contradicts the testimony of the Holy Scriptures themselves. For this reason, the Holy Scriptures contain both divine attributes and human attributes. While textual criticism engages with the variant readings of the biblical text, acknowledging its human attributes, faith in His Word acknowledges its divine attributes. These views demand the adherence of mankind to the supreme authority of the Holy Scriptures above all else. The Holy Scriptures can only be properly interpreted by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, an aspect of biblical scholarship that is denied by liberal views, causing much misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the Holy Scriptures.

The Message of the Gospel of John - The Gospel of John is the foundational book of the New Testament, containing the most direct testimony that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The Synoptic Gospels and New Testament epistles build their testimonies and doctrines upon this fundamental tenet of the Christian faith. Its strong emphasis upon New Testament Christology made it a crucial book in the development of the doctrines adopted by the early church councils and creeds. 1]

1] Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 1.

Introductory Material- The introduction to the Gospel of John will deal with its historical setting, literary style, and theological framework. 2] These three aspects of introductory material will serve as an important foundation for understanding God's message to us today from this divinely inspired book of the Holy Scriptures.

2] Someone may associate these three categories with Hermann Gunkel's well-known three-fold approach to form criticism when categorizing the genre found within the book of Psalm: (1) "a common setting in life," (2) "thoughts and mood," (3) "literary forms." In addition, the Word Biblical Commentary uses "Form/Structure/Setting" preceding each commentary section. Although such similarities were not intentional, but rather coincidental, the author was aware of them and found encouragement from them when assigning the three-fold scheme of historical setting, literary style, and theological framework to his introductory material. See Hermann Gunkel, The Psalm: A Form-Critical Introduction, trans. Thomas M. Horner, in Biblical Series, vol 19, ed. John Reumann (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Fortress Press, 1967), 10; see also Word Biblical Commentary, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word Incorporated, 1989-2007).

HISTORICAL SETTING

"We dare not divorce our study from understanding the historical setting of every passage of Scripture

if we are going to come to grips with the truth and message of the Bible."

(J. Hampton Keathley) 3]

3] J. Hampton Keathley, III, "Introduction and Historical Setting for Elijah," (Bible.org) [on-line]; accessed 23May 2012; available from http://bible.org/seriespage/introduction-and-historical-setting-elijah; Internet.

Each book of the Holy Scriptures is cloaked within a unique historical setting. An examination of this setting is useful in the interpretation of the book because it provides the context of the passage of Scripture under examination. The section on the historical setting of the Gospel of John will provide a discussion on its authorship, date and place of writing, recipients, and occasion. This discussion supports the early Church tradition that the apostle John wrote his Gospel in the mid-90's from Ephesus to the Church, being compelled by his disciples to record the early ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to counteract heresies that were creeping into the Church.

I. Authorship and Canonicity

In establishing the authorship of the New Testament writings, one must also deal with the issue of canonicity, since apostolic authority was the primary condition for a book to be accepted into the biblical canon of the early Church. This section will evaluate three phases in the development of the canonicity of the Gospel of John: apostolic authority, church orthodoxy, and catholicity. The first phase of canonization is called apostolic authority and is characterized by the use of the writings of the apostles by the earliest Church father in the defense of the Christian faith (1st and 2nd centuries). The second phase of canonization is called church orthodoxy and is characterized by the collection of the apostolic writings into the distinctive groups of the Gospels, the Pauline epistles, and the Catholic epistles, and their distribution among the churches as the rules of the Christian faith (late 2nd century thru 3rd century). The third phase of canonization is characterized by the general acceptance and use of the books of the New Testament by the catholic church, seen most distinctly in the early Church councils (4th century).

A. Apostolic Authority- Scholars generally agree that the New Testament canon went through several phrases of development in Church history prior to its solidification in the fourth century. F. B. Westcott says the earliest phase is considered the apostolic age in which "the writings of the Apostles were regarded from the first as invested with singular authority, as the true expression, if not the original source, of Christian doctrine and Christian practice." He says the "elements of the Catholic faith" were established during this period in Church history. 4] At this time, the early Christian Greek apologists defended the catholic faith during the rise of the heresies of the second century using the writings that carried the weight of apostolic authority. The Church clung to the books that were either written by the apostles themselves, such as Matthew ,, John , Peter, and Paul, or directly sanctioned by them, such as Mark and Luke , the assistances of Peter and Paul respectively, and the epistles of James and Jude , the brothers of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, scholars believe apostolic authority was the primary element in selecting the canonical books. This phase is best represented by evaluating the internal evidence of the authorship of these New Testament books and by the external witnesses of the early Church fathers who declare the book's apostolic authorship and doctrinal authority over the Church.

4] Brooke Foss Westcott, A General History of the Canon of the New Testament (London: Macmillan and Co, 1875), 21. The Muratorian Canon (c. A.D 200) alludes to the criteria of apostolic authority for the New Testament writings, saying, "The Pastor, moreover, did Hermas write very recently in our times in the city of Rome, while his brother bishop Pius sat in the chair of the Church of Rome. And therefore it also ought to be read; but it cannot be made public in the Church to the people, nor placed among the prophets, as their number is complete, nor among the apostles to the end of time." (Fragments of Caius 33) (ANF 5); Corey Keating says, "In the first two centuries, ‘apostolic authority' was the important factor in deciding to keep or reject a particular writing." See Corey Keating, The Criteria Used for Developing the New Testament Canon in the First Four Centuries of the Christian Church (2000); accessed 15 April 2012; available from http://www.ntgreek.org/SeminaryPapers/ChurchHistory/Criteria%20for%20Development%20of%20the%20NT%20Canon%20in%20First%20Four%20Centuries.pdf; Internet.

Although the Gospel of John does not declare the author within its text, there is overwhelming evidence that John the apostle wrote this book. The lack of identification within the body of its text does not detract from the strong evidence that supports Johannine authorship. In fact, none of the four Gospels state their authors. A further observation may be noted that, in contrast, some of the New Testament apocryphal gospels, which are recognized as merely imitations, frequently attribute themselves to apostolic authorship in the body of these writings, which helps to identify them as unauthentic in origin. Both internal and external evidence strongly support Johannine authorship. In fact, its authorship was never contested until modern times, when several radical schools of thought emerged, whose views are no longer taken seriously by evangelical Bible scholars today.

1. Internal Evidence- Internal evidence is consistent in supporting the apostle John as the author of the Gospel of John. We can conclude from the text that the author was familiar with Jewish customs and geography. We know that the text is very Hebraic in style and that the author appears to be familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures. Thus, he was a Palestinian Jews. In addition, the fact that the author was an eyewitness of Jesus' ministry, the way in which the name of John the apostle is deliberately omitted from this Gospel, and the similarity between this Gospel and the other Johannine writings lead us to the conclusion that John the apostle wrote this Gospel.

a) The Author of John's Gospel was Familiar with Palestine and Jewish Customs- Internal evidence of Johannine authorship is found in the observation that whoever wrote this Gospel was very familiar with Jewish customs, Jewish history, and Palestinian geography. Only a Jew who grew up in this nation, and not a Jew of the Diaspora, would be so familiar with the details that are given in this Gospel. John the apostle qualifies as such an author. Philip Schaff gives us a long list of John's description of geographical locations.

"He describes Bethesda as ‘a pool by the sheep gate, having five porches' ( John 5:2), Siloam as ‘a pool which is by interpretation Sent' ( John 9:7), Solomon's porch as being ‘in the Temple' ( John 10:23), the brook Kedron ‘where was a garden' ( John 18:1); he knows the location of the praetorium ( John 18:28), the meaning of Gabbatha ( John 19:13), and Golgotha ( John 19:17), the distance of Bethany from Jerusalem ‘about fifteen furlongs off' ( John 11:18), and he distinguishes it from Bethany beyond Jordan ( John 1:28). He gives the date when the Herodian reconstruction of the temple began ( John 2:19). He is equally familiar with other parts of Palestine and makes no mistakes such as are so often made by foreigners. He locates Cana in Galilee ( John 2:1; John 4:26 John 21:2), to distinguish it from another Cana; Aenon ‘near to Salim' where there are ‘many waters' ( John 3:23); Sychar in Samaria near ‘Jacob's, well,' and in view of Mount Gerizim ( John 4:5). He knows the extent of the Lake of Tiberias ( John 6:19); he describes Bethsaida as ‘the city of Andrew and Peter' ( John 1:44), as distinct from Bethsaida Julias on the eastern bank of the Jordan; he represents Nazareth as a place of proverbial insignificance ( John 1:46)." 5]

5] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 709-710.

Philip Schaff also gives a lengthy list of the author's insight into the Jewish people and culture.

"He is well acquainted with the confused politico-ecclesiastical Messianic ideas and expectations of the Jews ( John 1:19-28; John 1:45-49; John 4:25; John 6:14-15 John 7:26; John 12:34, and other passages); with the hostility between Jews and Samaritans ( John 4:9; John 4:20; John 4:22 John 8:48); with Jewish usages and observances, as baptism ( John 1:25; John 3:22-23 John 4:2), purification ( John 2:6; John 3:25, etc.), ceremonial pollution ( John 18:28), feasts ( John 2:13; John 2:23; John 5:1; John 7:37, etc.), circumcision, and the Sabbath ( John 7:22-23). He is also acquainted with the marriage and burial rites ( John 2:1-10; John 11:17-44), with the character of the Pharisees and their influence in the Sanhedrin, the relationship between Annas and Caiaphas." 6]

6] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 710.

b) The Gospel of John is Very Hebraic in Style- John wrote his Gospel using the Greek language, but it is thoroughly Hebrew it style. This is reflected in it simple vocabulary and sentence structure, in its imagery and symbolism, and in Hebrew parallelism. This clear Hebrew style of writing implies that the author was a Jew.

c) The Author was Familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures- The fact that the author was quotes from the Hebrew Scriptures as well as the Septuagint in this Gospel implies that he was a Jew. No Gentile would write a document quoting Hebrew, as the Hebrew Scriptures were only used proficiently by the Jews.

d) The Author of John's Gospel was an Eyewitness of Jesus' Ministry- It becomes clear that the author the Gospel of John was an eyewitness of the accounts told in his Gospel. For example, although John the Apostle does not use his name to declare his authorship as he does in the book of Revelation , he does make a subtle reference to himself as the author in several passages within this Gospel by stating that he was a witness of Jesus' ministry.

The author saw Jesus during His earthly ministry:

John 1:14, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

The author witnessed the Crucifixion of Jesus:

John 19:34-35, "But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe."

The author testifies of the entire ministry of Jesus as if he were with Jesus from the beginning of His earthly ministry:

John 21:24, "This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."

The Holy Bible gives no evidence that any other apostle stood at the Cross to witness the Crucifixion besides John. The only person that qualifies for all three descriptions above is the apostle John. We also know that John was one of the earliest disciples of Jesus Christ, giving him insight into the early ministry of Jesus Christ ( John 1:35-42).

As an eyewitness, the author gives numerous details of places, persons, time, and manner throughout the writing. For example, John is very precise in his references to time. He mentions such specifics as the third day ( John 2:1); the seventh hour ( John 4:52); two days ( John 11:6); and six days ( John 12:1).

e) The Name of John is Deliberately Omitted from His Gospel- Additional internal evidence to Johannine authorship is the fact that John made a deliberate attempt not to mention his name a single time within his Gospel. Since he had to refer to himself at times in this Gospel, he used distinctive terms to refer to himself, such as "the beloved disciple" or "the other disciple" in the place of his name. Note:

John 13:23, "Now there was leaning on Jesus" bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved."

John 18:15-16, "And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter."

John 19:26, "When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!"

John 20:2, "Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them,"

John 21:7, "Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher"s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea."

John 21:20, "Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?"

The author was very likely one of the two disciples that left John the Baptist and followed Jesus home in John 1:35-40. He very humbly places himself and his brother near the end of a list of Jesus' disciples in John 21:2.

John 21:2, "There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples."

Yet, in the Synoptic Gospels, John is always placed near the front of such lists. This modesty is extended to his own family members. John was probably referring to his own mother in John 19:25 when he used the words, "and his mother's sister."

John 19:25, "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother"s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene."

This pattern of avoiding his own name in this Gospel is a clear indication of John"s authorship. In contrast, the Synoptic Gospels refer to John the apostle by name on numerous occasions.

f) The Gospel of John is Similar to the Other Johannine Writings- Additional internal evidence is found by comparing the Johannine epistles and the Revelation of John to his Gospel. Even a casual reader will see a remarkable similarity in vocabulary, style, and content.

In all of his writings, the sentence structure is short and simple. The Johannine vocabulary is the most limited of any New Testament writings. William MacDonald gives the following list of occurrences in John's vocabulary: Father (118), believe (100), world (78), love (45), witness, testify, etc. (47), life (37), and light (24). 7]

7] William MacDonald, The Gospel According to John , in Believer's Bible Commentary, ed. Arthur Farstad (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1995), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), "Introduction."

In addition, phrases such as "in the beginning, the Word, the love of God, a new commandment, sons of God, only begotten Son" are almost unique for both the Gospel of John and his epistles.

1. Patristic Support of Johannine Authorship- The early Church fathers were in universal agreement that John was the author of his Gospel. Many of the early church fathers made some type of comment to affirm John's authorship. Therefore, the external evidence for John's authorship is very strong.

a) Justin Martyr (A.D 100 to 165) - Justin Martyr appears to have known about the four Gospels, as he frequently refers to the "memoirs of the apostles," and he tells us that they were also called "Gospels" as early as his time.

"For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them;" (First Apology 66)

"For in the memoirs which I say were drawn up by His apostles and those who followed them, [it is recorded] that His sweat fell down like drops of blood while He was praying, and saying, "If it be possible, let this cup pass:'" (Dialogue of Justin 103)

Justin Martyr also tells us that the Gospels were read along with Old Testament books of the prophets. This tells us that the early Church had equaled the Gospels to divinely inspired Scripture.

"And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things." (First Apology 67)

b) Theophilus of Antioch (late 2nd century) - Theophilus, bishop of Antioch and a Christian apologist, provides the earliest testimony to Johannian authorship of his Gospel.

"And hence the holy writings teach us, and all the spirit-bearing [inspired] men, one of whom, John , says, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,' showing that at first God was alone, and the Word in Him. Then he says, ‘The Word was God; all things came into existence through Him; and apart from Him not one thing came into existence.' The Word, then, being God, and being naturally produced from God, whenever the Father of the universe wills, He sends Him to any place; and Hebrews , coming, is both heard and seen, being sent by Him, and is found in a place." (Theophilus to Autolycus 222) (ANF 2)

c) The Muratorian Canon (late 2nd century) - The Muratorian Canon, an ancient Latin document dated around A.D 200, is considered the earliest attempt at listing the canonical books of the New Testament. 8] In it, we find the following testimony of John's authorship. This manuscript tells us that John wrote his Gospel under the encouragement of his fellow disciples.

8] "Muratorian Canon," in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, revised, eds. F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), 950.

"The fourth gospel is by John, one of the disciples. When his fellow-disciples and bishops encouraged him, John said, "Fast along with me three days from today, and whatever may be revealed to each, let us relate it one to another". The same night it was revealed to Andrew, one of the apostles, that John in his own name should write down everything and that they should all revise it. Therefore, although different beginnings are taught for the various books of the gospel, it makes no difference to the faith of believers, since in all of them everything has been declared by one primary Spirit, concerning his nativity, passion and resurrection, his association with his disciples and his twofold advent-his first in humility, when he was despised, which is past; his second resplendent in royal power, his coming again. It is no wonder, then, that John should so constantly present the separate details in his letters also, saying of himself: "What we have seen with our eyes and heard with our ears and our hands have handled, these things have we written." For in this way he claims to be not only a spectator but a hearer, and also a writer in order of the wonderful facts about our Lord." (The Fragments of Casius 31)

d) Irenaeus (A.D 130 to 200) - Although earlier quotations to the Gospel of John are recorded by Ignatius, Justin Martyr (probably), Tatian, and the Muratorian Canon, perhaps the earliest declaration for the authorship of the Gospel of John is found in the writings of Irenaeus (A.D 130 to 200).

"Afterwards, John , the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia." (Against Heresies 311) (See also Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 584)

"Further, they teach that John , the disciple of the Lord, indicated the first Ogdoad, expressing themselves in these words: John , the disciple of the Lord, wishing to set forth the origin of all things, so as to explain how the Father produced the whole, lays down a certain principle,--that, namely, which was first-begotten by God, which Being he has termed both the only-begotten Son and God, in whom the Father, after a seminal manner, brought forth all things. By him the Word was produced, and in him the whole substance of the Aeons, to which the Word himself afterwards imparted form. Since, therefore, he treats of the first origin of things, he rightly proceeds in his teaching from the beginning, that Isaiah , from God and the Word. And he expresses himself thus: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; the same was in the beginning with God.'" (Against Heresies 185)

Everett F. Harrison tells us that this testimony from Irenaeus is important because between himself and John the apostle stood only one generation of Christians. Of that generation, Polycarp of Smyrna in the East and Pothinus of Lyons in the West were both pupils of John and personally known by Irenaeus. 9] Eusebius (A.D 260 to 340), the ancient church historian, claims that Irenaeus relied upon Polycarp, who was a disciple of the apostles, for his information, (Ecclesiastical History 4143-8).

9] Everett F. Harrison, Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, c 1964, 1971), 218.

From the second century onward we find extensive attestation to Johannine authorship. Early church fathers, such as Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, and Origen supported the belief that John the apostle was the genuine author.

e) The Anti-Marcionite Prologue to Mark (A.D 160 to 180) - The Anti-Marcionite Prologue to John tells us that John was the writer of his Gospel:

"The Gospel of John was revealed and given to the churches by John while still in the body, just as Papias of Hieropolis, the close disciple of John , related in the exoterics, that Isaiah , in the last five books.Indeed he wrote down the gospel,while John was dictating carefully.But the heretic Marcion, after being condemned by him because he was teaching the opposite to him [John], was expelled by John.But he [Marcion] had brought writings or letters to him [John] from the brothers which were in Pontus." 10]

10] The Anti-Marcionite Prologues to the Gospels, trans. Roger Pearse (2006) [on-line]; accessed 16 April 2010; available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/anti_marcionite_prologues.htm; Internet. The translation was made from the text published by Donatien De Bruyne, "Les plus anciens prologues latines des vangiles," Revue Bndictine, vol 40, (October 1928), 193-214. See also R. G. Heard, "The Old Gospel Prologues," Journal of Theological Studies n.s 6 (1955), 1-16. See also Helmut Koester, Ancient Christian Gospels: Their History and Development (Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, c 1990).

f) Clement of Alexandria (A.D 150 to 215) - Clement of Alexandria tells us through Eusebius that John was the author of his Gospel:

"Again, in the same books, Clement gives the tradition of the earliest presbyters, as to the order of the Gospels, in the following manner: The Gospels containing the genealogies, he says, were written first. The Gospel according to Marks had this occasion. As Peter had preached the Word publicly at Rome, and declared the Gospel by the Spirit, many who were present requested that Mark , who had followed him for a long time and remembered his sayings, should write them out. And having composed the Gospel he gave it to those who had requested it. When Peter learned of this, he neither directly forbade nor encouraged it. But, last of all, John , perceiving that the external facts had been made plain in the Gospel, being urged by his friends, and inspired by the Spirit, composed a spiritual Gospel. This is the account of Clement." (Ecclesiastical History 6145-7)

Clement of Alexandria even quotes John 1:18 by calling it the writing of John.

"And John the apostle says: "No man hath seen God at any time. The only-begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him," --calling invisibility and ineffableness the bosom of God. Hence some have called it the Depth, as containing and embosoming all things, inaccessible and boundless." (The Stromata 512)

g) Tertullian (A.D 160 to 225) - Tertullian, in his writing Against Marcion (A.D. 207), makes one of the earliest and clearest references to the authors of the four Gospels.

"Of the apostles, therefore, John and Matthew first instill faith into us; whilst of apostolic men, Luke and Mark renew it afterwards. These all start with the same principles of the faith, so far as relates to the one only God the Creator and His Christ, how that He was born of the Virgin, and came to fulfil the law and the prophets. Never mind if there does occur some variation in the order of their narratives, provided that there be agreement in the essential matter of the faith, in which there is disagreement with Marcion. Marcion, on the other hand, you must know, ascribes no author to his Gospel, as if it could not be allowed him to affix a title to that from which it was no crime (in his eyes) to subvert the very body." (Against Marcion 42)

Again he affirms the Gospel of John to be his own work:

"The same authority of the apostolic churches will afford evidence to the other Gospels also, which we possess equally through their means, and according to their usage--I mean the Gospels of John and Matthew--whilst that which Mark published may be affirmed to be Peter"s whose interpreter Mark was. For even Luke"s form of the Gospel men unsually ascribe to Paul. And it may well seem that the works which disciples publish belong to their masters. Well, then, Marcion ought to be called to a strict account concerning these (other Gospels) also, for having omitted them, and insisted in preference on Luke; as if they, too, had not had free course in the churches, as well as Luke"s Gospel, from the beginning. Nay, it is even more credible that they existed from the very beginning; for, being the work of apostles, they were prior, and coeval in origin with the churches themselves." (Against Marcion 45)

h) Hippolytus (A.D 170 to 236) - Hippolytus tells us that John was the author of his Gospel.

" John , again, in Asia, was banished by Domitian the king to the isle of Patmos, in which also he wrote his Gospel and saw the apocalyptic vision; and in Trajan"s time he fell asleep at Ephesus, where his remains were sought for, but could not be found." (Appendix to the Works of Hippolytus 49: On the Twelve Apostles Where Each of Them Preached, and Where He Met His End 3) (ANF 5)

i) Origen (A.D 185 to 254) - Eusebius quotes Origen as saying that John was the author of his Gospel:

"In his [Origen] first book on Matthew"s Gospel, maintaining the Canon of the Church, he testifies that he knows only four Gospels, writing as follows: "Among the four Gospels, which are the only indisputable ones in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the first was written by Matthew , who was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for the converts from Judaism, and published in the Hebrew language. The second is by Mark , who composed it according to the instructions of Peter, who in his Catholic epistle acknowledges him as a Song of Solomon , saying, "The church that is at Babylon elected together with you, saluteth you, and so doth Marcus, my son." And the third by Luke , the Gospel commended by Paul, and composed for Gentile converts. Last of all that by John….Why need we speak of him who reclined upon the bosom of Jesus, John , who has left us one Gospel, though he confessed that he might write so many that the world could not contain them?" (Ecclesiastical History 6253-6, 9)

j) Victorinus (d 304 A. D.) - Victorinus, bishop of Pettau, tells us that John wrote his Gospel after writing the Apocalypse.

"‘And there was shown unto me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.'] A reed was shown like to a rod. This itself is the Apocalypse which he subsequently exhibited to the churches; for the Gospel of the complete faith he subsequently wrote for the sake of our salvation. For when Valentinus, and Cerinthus, and Ebion, and others of the school of Satan, were scattered abroad throughout the world, there assembled together to him from the neighbouring provinces all the bishops, and compelled him himself also to draw up his testimony." (Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John 11:1) (ANF 7)

k) Eusebius (A.D 260 to 340) - Eusebius also tells us that the early church fathers without dispute attributed the authorship of this Gospel to John the apostle. Note:

"But of the writings of John , not only his Gospel, but also the former of his epistles, has been accepted without dispute both now and in ancient times. But the other two are disputed." (Ecclesiastical History 32417)

l) Athanasius (A.D 296 to 373) - Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, supported Johannine authorship and quotes from John 3:17.

"All things whatsoever our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as Luke wrote, "both hath done and taught," He effected after having appeared for our salvation; for He came, as John saith, "not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."" (To the Bishops of Egypt 11)

He lists John among the four Evangelists.

"Again it is not tedious to speak of the [books] of the New Testament. These are, the four Gospels, according to Matthew ,, Mark ,, Luke , and John. Afterwards, the Acts of the Apostles and Epistles (called Catholic), seven, viz. of James , one; of Peter, two; of John , three; after these, one of Jude. In addition, there are fourteen Epistles of Paul, written in this order. The first, to the Romans; then two to the Corinthians; after these, to the Galatians; next, to the Ephesians; then to the Philippians; then to the Colossians; after these, two to the Thessalonians, and that to the Hebrews; and again, two to Timothy; one to Titus; and lastly, that to Philemon. And besides, the Revelation of John" (Festal Letters 395)

William Alexander cites Pseudo-Athanasius (4th -6th c.), who says John the apostle wrote his Gospel while in exile on the isle of Patmos.

"the Gospel according to John was both dictated by the John the apostle and beloved when in exile at Patmos, and by him was published in Ephesus, through Caius the beloved and friend of the apostles, of whom Paul writing to the Romans saith, Caius mine host and of the whole church." (Synopsis of the Sacred Scriptures) (PG 28 Colossians 433A-B) 11]

11] William Alexander, The Epistles of St. John , in The Expositor's Bible, ed. William R. Nicoll and Oscar L. Joseph (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1956), in Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM] (Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2001), in "Chapter 21: The Quietness of True Religion, section I."

m) Epiphanius (A.D 315-403) - Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis, mentions the Gospel of John.

"But by now some will have replied that the Gospel of John besides, translated from Greek to Hebrew, is in the Jewish treasuries, I mean the treasuries at Tiberias." (The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis, Heresy 30: Against Ebionites 38-9). 12]

12] The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis, Book I (Sects 1-46), trans. Frank Williams (Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill, c 1987), 122; See S. Epiphanii Episcopi Constantiensis Panaria Eorumque Anacephalaeosis, tomi prioris, pars prior, ed. Franciscus Oehler, in Corporis Haereseogolici, tomus secundus (Berolini:Apud A. Asher et Socios, 1859), 246.

n) Gregory Naziansen (A. D 329-389) - Gregory Naziansen, the Church theologian, says after listing the books of the Old Testament canon, "And already for me, I have received all those of the New Testament. First, to the Hebrews Matthew the saint composed what was according to him the Gospel; second, in Italy Mark the divine; third, in Achaia Luke the all-wise; and John , thundering the heavenlies, indeed preached to all common men; after whom the miracles and deeds of the wise apostles, and Paul the divine herald fourteen epistles; and catholic seven, of which one is of James the brother of God, and two are of Peter the head, and of John again the evangelist, three, and seventh is Jude the Zealot. All are united and accepted; and if one of them is found outside, it is not placed among the genuine ones." (PG 38 Colossians 845) (author's translation) 13]

13] Cited by Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1: Apostolic Christianity A.D 1-100 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 582.

He makes a similar statement again:

"Indeed Matthew wrote to the Hebrews (the) miracles of Christ, and Mark to Italy, Luke to Achaia, and above all, John , a great preacher who walked in heaven, then the Acts of the wise apostles, and fourteen epistles of Paul, and seven catholic epistles, being of James , one, and two of Peter, and three of John again, and Jude is seven. You have all. And if there is some (other than) these seven, not (are they) among the genuine ones." (Carminum 1) (PG 37 Colossians 474) (author's translation)

o) St. John Chrysostom (A.D 347 to 407) - John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople, tells us that John was the author of his Gospel.

"But as to John , he hath himself kept silence touching the cause; yet, (as a tradition saith, which hath come down to us from the first, even from the Fathers,) neither did he come to write without purpose; but forasmuch as it had been the care of the three to dwell upon the account of the dispensation, and the doctrines of the Godhead were near being left in silence, Hebrews , moved by Christ, then and not till then set himself to compose his Gospel. And this is manifest both from the history itself, and from the opening of his Gospel. For he doth not begin like the rest from beneath, but from above, from the same point, at which he was aiming, and it was with a view to this that he composed the whole book. And not in the beginning only, but throughout all the Gospel, he is more lofty than the rest." (Homilies on the Gospel According to St. Matthew 1:7)

p) Jerome (A.D 342to 420) - Jerome tells us that John was the author of his Gospel.

" John , the apostle whom Jesus most loved, the son of Zebedee and brother of James , the apostle whom Herod, after our Lord"s passion, beheaded, most recently of all the evangelists wrote a Gospel, at the request of the bishops of Asia," (Lives of Illustrious Men 7)

"The last is John , the Apostle and Evangelist ... Ecclesiastical history relates that, when he was urged by the brethren to write, he replied that he would do so if a general fast were proclaimed and all would offer up prayer to God; and when the fast was over, the narrative goes on to say, being filled with Revelation , he burst into the heaven-sent Preface: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God: this was in the beginning with God.'" (Preface to Commentary on Matthew) (NPF 2 6)

q) Sophronius (A.D 560 to 638) - Sophronius, patriarch of Jerusalem, tells us that John the apostle wrote his Gospel, saying, "John was the last of the Evangelists to write a Gospel. At the request of the bishops of Asia, he wrote his Gospel to combat the teachings of Cerinthus and other heretics, and especially the newly appeared doctrine of the Ebionites, who claimed that Christ did not exist until Mary gave birth to Him.." (The Life of the Evangelist John) (PG 123col 1127) 14]

14] Sophronius, The Life of the Evangelist John , in Orthodox Classics in English (House Springs, MO: The Chrysostom Press) [on-line]; accessed 1December 2010; available from http://www.chrysostompress.org/the-four-evangelists; Internet.

3. Manuscript Evidence of Johannine Authorship- The earliest Greek manuscripts of the third and fourth centuries contain the Gospels and Acts. The earliest manuscript copies of the Gospel of John are entitled "according to John." Never was this title contested by the early Church fathers. No manuscript titles attribute the authorship to anyone else but John.

George Salmon notes that if the phrase "according to" only refers to the fact that these Gospels contain the traditions that emanated from the four Evangelists, but was not written by them, then it would follow that Mark's Gospel would be entitled "according to Peter" and Luke's Gospel "according to Paul." 15] Thus, much weight can to be placed upon these most ancient titles of the four Gospels to support authorship.

15] George Salmon, Matthew , in The Biblical Illustrator, ed. Joseph S. Exell (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Pub. House, 1954), in Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM] (Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2002), "Introduction: Titles of the Gospels."

Also, the fact that the Gospel of John was included without exception in all of the earliest manuscripts with John's title testifies to its apostolic authenticity. Philip Schaff writes, "All the ancient Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, including the Sinaitic and the Vatican, which date from the age of Constantine and are based upon older copies of the second century, and all the ancient versions, including the Syriac and old Latin from the third and second centuries, contain without exception the Gospel of John , though the Peshito omits his second and third Epistles and the Apocalypse. These manuscripts and versions represent the universal voice of the churches." 16] The fact that the title of this Gospel in ancient manuscripts bore John's name from the beginning of the early Church testifies to John's authorship.

16] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 702.

Thus, we see an unbroken tradition from the early Church fathers and other witnesses in support of Johannine authorship. This widespread support comes from many geographical regions of the known Christian world. The Church upheld the genuineness and authenticity of the Gospel of John until about the close of the eighteenth century, when higher criticism arose and challenged the integrity of all of the Scriptures. Many of the recent critical challenges against the Gospel of John were derailed by the discovery of a fragment of John 18 in Egypt in 1920, called Papyrus 52, dated from the first half of the second century, and, probably about A.D 125. 17] The fact that this fragment was found in a smaller city in southern Egypt testifies to an earlier date of authorship, since it would take time for such a letter make its way from Ephesus to a small city in Egypt. An early date of writing was further confirmed by the discovery of the Egerton Papyrus 2, a fragment from John 5 dating from the second century. 18]

17] Philip W. Comfort and David P. Barrett, The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1999, 2001), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004); Colin H. Roberts, "An Unpublished Fragment of the Fourth Gospel in the John Rylands Library," Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 20 (1936), 45-55.

18] Floyd V. Filson, "A New Papyrus Manuscript of the Gospel of John ," in The Biblical Archaeologist, vol 20, no 3 (Sept, 1957), 53-63, published by The American Schools of Oriental Research [on-line]; accessed 10 July 2010; available from http://www.jstor.org/pss/3209339; Internet; Wieland Willker, The Papyrus Egerton 2Homepage [on-line]; accessed 19 July 2010; available from http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/Egerton/Egerton_home.html; Internet.

It is easy to see how canonicity is a testimony to Johannine authorship when we understand that the debates of the early Church fathers to accept the general epistles of 2Peter, 2,3John, and Jude was simply a debate about their authorship. Apostolic authorship meant that the works were authentic, and thus, authoritative. It was the writing's apostolic authority that granted its inclusion into the New Testament canon. Therefore, canonicity was based upon apostolic authority, and this apostolic authority was based upon the authenticity of the writing, and its authenticity was based upon the fact that it was a genuine work of one of the apostles or one who was serving directly under that apostolic authority.

B. Church Orthodoxy- The second phase in the development of the New Testament canon placed emphasis upon Church orthodoxy, or the rule of faith for the catholic Church. F. B. Westcott says, "To make use of a book as authoritative, to assume that it is apostolic, to quote it as inspired, without preface or comment, is not to hazard a new or independent opinion, but to follow an unquestioned judgment." 19] The early Church fathers cited these apostolic writings as divinely inspired by God, equal in authority to the Old Testament Scriptures. They understood that these particular books embodied the doctrines that helped them express the Church's Creed, or generally accepted rule of faith. As F. B. Westcott notes, with a single voice the Church fathers of this period rose up from the western to the eastern borders of Christendom and became heralds of the same, unified Truth. 20] This phase is best represented in the writings of the early Church fathers by the collection of the apostolic writings into the distinctive groups of the Gospels, the Pauline epistles, and the Catholic epistles, and their distribution among the churches as the rules of the Christian faith (late 2nd century thru 3rd century). These collected works of the apostles were cited by the Church fathers as they expounded upon the Christian faith and established Church orthodoxy. We will look at two aspects of the development of Church Orthodoxy: (1) the Patristic Support of Authenticity, Authority, and Orthodoxy and (2) Early Versions.

19] Brooke Foss Westcott, A General History of the Canon of the New Testament (London: Macmillan anc Co, 1875), 12.

20] Brooke Foss Westcott, A General History of the Canon of the New Testament (London: Macmillan anc Co, 1875), 331.

1. Patristic Support of Authenticity, Authority, and Orthodoxy- In addition to direct statements by the early Church fathers declaring Johannine authorship, patristic support for the authenticity and authority of the Gospel of John can be found in the form of direct quotes, strong allusions, and weak allusions. Direct quotes are word for word citations from this book, strong allusions are apparent paraphrases, and weak allusions are words or phrases that appear to come from this book. The fact that the early Church fathers quoted freely from John's Gospel along with other Holy Scriptures bears witness to the truth that they believed that this Gospel was authentic and thus carried apostolic authority. Louis Berkhof tells us that among the early Church fathers men like Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen, Justin Martyr, Jerome and others either freely quote it or refer to it as an integral part of the Word of God. He says that John's Gospel is included in Tatian"s Diatessaron, in the Muratori canon, and in the Syriac and old Latin Versions. In all at least nineteen witnesses testify to the use and recognition of the Gospel of John before the end of the second century. Thus, the Gospel of John was used by the Church fathers to establish Church orthodoxy.

Here are some of the earliest quotes from the Gospel of John: 21]

21] There are many other citations available from the early Church fathers that I have not used to support the traditional views of authorship of the books of the New Testament. Two of the largest collections of these citations have been compiled by Nathaniel Lardner (1684-1768) in The Works of Nathaniel Lardner, 10 vols. (London: Joseph Ogle Robinson, 1829, 1838), and by Jacques Paul Migne (1800-1875) in the footnotes of Patrologia Latina, 221vols. (Parisiis: Excudebat Migne, 1844-55) and Patrologia Graecae, 161vols. (Parisiis: Excudebat Migne, 1857-66).

a) Ignatius of Antioch (A.D 35 to 107) - Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, discusses the story found only in John 20.

"And I know that He was possessed of a body not only in His being born and crucified, but I also know that He was so after His resurrection, and believe that He is so now. When, for instance, He came to those who were with Peter, He said to them, ‘Lay hold, handle Me, and see that I am not an incorporeal spirit.' ‘For a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have.' And He says to Thomas, ‘Reach hither thy finger into the print of the nails, and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side;' and immediately they believed that He was Christ. Wherefore Thomas also says to Him, ‘My Lord, and my God.'" (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyraeans 3)

He also quotes John 8:29 in his epistle to the Ephesians.

"For even Jesus Christ does all things according to the will of the Father, as He Himself declares in a certain place, ‘I do always those things that please Him.'" (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 3)

He also quotes from Jesus' prayer in John 17.

"For, says Hebrews , ‘Grant unto them, Holy Father, that as I and Thou are one, they also may be one in us.'" (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 4)

He also quotes from John 3:36.

"For he that is subject to these is obedient to Christ, who has appointed them; but he that is disobedient to these is disobedient to Christ Jesus. And "he that obeyeth not 8] the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him." For he that yields not obedience to his superiors is self-confident, quarrelsome, and proud." (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 5)

b) The Didache (A.D 80 to 100) - The Didache, or The Teachings of the Twelve Apostles, was a short early Christian manual on morals and Church practice. The Gospel of Matthew is used extensively throughout the sixteen chapters of this ancient manual, particularly from the Sermon on the Mount (See The Lord's Teaching Through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations) (ANF 7). There is a possible allusion to the Gospel of John. Note the following example:

"We thank thee, our Father, for the holy vine of David Thy servant…" (The Didache 9)

John 15:1, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman."

c) Polycarp (A.D 69 to 155) - Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, was said by Irenaeus to have been acquainted with John the apostle. The epistle of Polycarp contains numerous quotes and allusions from the Gospels, revealing the fact that he was acquainted with them.

"…or blow for blow, or cursing for cursing, but being mindful of what the Lord said in His teaching: Judge not, that ye be not judged; forgive, and it shall be forgiven unto you; be merciful, that ye may obtain mercy; with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again; and once more, Blessed are the poor, and those that are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God." (The Epistle of to the Philippians 2) ( Matthew 5:3; Matthew 5:10; Matthew 7:1-2; Matthew 6:12; Matthew 6:14, Luke 6:20; Luke 6:36-38)

"…but temperate in all things, compassionate, industrious, walking according to the truth of the Lord, who was the servant of all. " (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians 5) ( Matthew 20:28)

"If then we entreat the Lord to forgive us, we ought also ourselves to forgive;" (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians 6) ( Matthew 6:12-14)

"…beseeching in our supplications the all-seeing God ‘not to lead us into temptation,' as the Lord has said: ‘The spirit truly is willing, but the flesh is weak.'" (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians 7) ( Matthew 6:13; Matthew 26:41, Mark 14:38)

"Pray also for kings, and potentates, and princes, and for those that persecute and hate you," (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians 12) ( Matthew 5:44)

In his letter to Philippians , he quotes from 1 John 4:3.

"Every one that doth not confess that Jesus Christ hath come in the flesh is Antichrist; and whosoever doth not confess the mystery of the cross is of the devil." (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians 7)

Philip Schaff tells us since all of John's writings "stand or fall together," this quote serves as an indirect testimony to John's Gospel. 22]

22] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 704.

d) Justin Martyr (A.D 100 to 165) - Justin Martyr quotes from John 3:3-4, shows that he was familiar with Johannine literature.

"For Christ also said, ‘Except ye be born again, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.' Now, that it is impossible for those who have once been born to enter into their mothers" wombs, is manifest to all. And how those who have sinned and repent shall escape their sins, is declared by Esaias the prophet, as I wrote above;" (First Apology 61)

e) The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (2nd century) - The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (ANF 8), generally believed to be an early Church writing of the second century, contains many New Testament thoughts and expressions as well as quotes. It makes several possible allusions to the Gospel of John.

"So shall ye bring a curse upon our race for whom came the light of the world, which was given among you for the lighting up of every man." (The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: III The Testament of Levi Concerning the Priesthood and Arrogance 14)

John 1:9, "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."

"…until He shall again look upon you, and in pity shall take you to Himself through faith and water…" (The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: III The Testament of Levi Concerning the Priesthood and Arrogance 16)

John 3:5, "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

f) Titian' edition of the Diatessaron (A.D 150 to 160) - The Diatessaron is an edition of the four Gospels compiles as a Harmony and written as one continuous narrative. It was compiled by Titian, a pupil of Justin Martyr, about A.D 150-60. At an early date, it began to circulate widely in the Syriac-speaking churches and became the standard text of the Gospels down to the fifth century, before it was finally replaced by four separate Gospels.

"But their original founder, Tatian, formed a certain combination and collection of the Gospels, I know not how, to which he gave the title Diatessaron, and which is still in the hands of some." (Ecclesiastical History 4296)

g) Theophilus of Antioch (late 2nd century) - Theophilus, bishop of Antioch, quotes from John 1:1; John 1:3, verifying its early testimony as Scripture that was equal to the Old Testament books. He is also said to have written commentaries on the Gospels, which supports their importance in the early Church at that time.

"And hence the holy writings teach us, and all the spirit-bearing [inspired] men, one of whom, John , says, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,' showing that at first God was alone, and the Word in Him. Then he says, ‘The Word was God; all things came into existence through Him; and apart from Him not one thing came into existence.'" (Theophilus to Autolycus 222)

Not only do the early church fathers quote freely from Johannine literature, but also some of the ancient heretical works bear witness to the same.

h) The Clementine Homilies (undated) - The Clementine Homilies are described as "a religious and philosophical romance," which is said to have been written by Clement of Rome and sent to James , the bishop of Jerusalem, and brother of the Lord. This work describes some of Clement's travels in the East. 23] This ancient writing makes a reference to the man born blind ( John 9:2-3), which is unique to John's Gospel.

23] "Clementine Literature," in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, revised, eds, F. L. Cross, and E. A. Livingstone (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), 304.

"But when through carelessness they neglected the observation of the proper times, then the sons in succession cohabiting through ignorance at times when they ought not, place their children under innumerable afflictions. Whence our Teacher, when we inquired of Him in regard to the man who was blind from his birth, and recovered his sight, if this man sinned, or his parents, that he should be born blind, answered, ‘Neither did he sin at all, nor his parents, but that the power of God might be made manifest through him in healing the sins of ignorance.'" (The Clementine Homilies 1922) 24]

24] Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds, Ante-Nicene Christian Library: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D 325 Vol 17: The Clementine Homilies. The Apostolical Constitutions (Edinburgh: T & T. Clark, 1870), 308. See the Greek text in PG 2col 444B-C.

The Gnostic literature in the New Testament Apocrypha, written largely during the second century after Christ, and the refutations of heresies by the early Church fathers, reveal to us that the Christian Gnostic heretics largely supported the canonicity of the New Testament and their apostolic authority in an attempt to identify themselves with Christianity. 25] For example, the heretic Marcion (d.c 160) compiled his own version of the New Testament canon, which Tertullian refutes in his work Against Marcion. Philip Schaff says, "The Gnostics of the second century, especially the Valentinians and Basilidians, made abundant use of the fourth Gospel, which alternately offended them by its historical realism, and attracted them by its idealism and mysticism. Heracleon, a pupil of Valentinus, wrote a commentary on it, of which Origen has preserved large extracts; Valentinus himself (according to Tertullian) 26] tried either to explain it away, or he put his own meaning into it. Basilides, who flourished about A.D 125, quoted from the Gospel of John such passages as the ‘true light, which enlighteneth every man was coming into the world' ( John 1:9), and, ‘my hour is not yet come.' ( John 2:4)….Celsius, in his book against Christianity, written about A.D 178, he refers to several details which are peculiar to John , as, among others, the blood which flowed from the body of Jesus at his crucifixion ( John 19:34), and the fact that Christ ‘after his death arose and showed the marks of his punishment, and how his hands had been pierced' ( John 20:25; John 20:27)." 27] Philip Schaff tells us that a disciple of Valentinus named Heracleon (A.D 145 to 180), a Gnostic heretic, went so far as to write a commentary on the Gospels of Luke and John. 28] Others wrote Gnostic and Apocryphal literature concerning John the apostle (The Acts of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John , The Book of John Concerning the Falling Asleep of Mary, The Revelation of Saint John the Theologian, The Book of John the Evangelist, Acts of John by Prochorus, Syriac History of John). 29]

25] Philip Schaff writes, "The Old Testament they [the Gnostics] generally rejected, either entirely, as in the case of the Marcionites and the Manichseans, or at least in great part; and in the New Testament they preferred certain books or portions, such as the Gospel of John , with its profound spiritual intuitions, and either rejected the other books, or wrested them to suit their ideas." Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 2 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1922), 451-452.

26] See Tertullian's work On the Flesh of Christ 15.

27] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 707.

28] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 707; "Herecleon," in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, revised, eds. F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), 637.

29] Alexander Walker, trans. Apocryphal Gospels, Acts , and Revelations (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1870); Bernhard Pick, The Apocryphal Acts of Paul, Peter, John , Andrew and Thomas (Chicago, Ill: The Open Court Publishing Company, 1909); Monague Rhodes James , The Apocryphal New Testament being the Apocryphal Gospels, Acts , Epistles, and Apocalypses with Other Narratives and Fragments (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, c 1924, 1963).

The fact that the early Church fathers as well as the heretics quoted from the Gospel of John along with other Holy Scriptures bears witness to the truth that they believed that this Gospel was authentic.

2. Early Versions- In addition, the earliest translations of the New Testament included the four Gospels; Tatian's Diatessaron (c 170) (a harmony of the four Gospels) (ANF 9), the Old Latin (2nd to 4th c), the Coptic (3rd to 4th c), the Old Syriac and Peshitta (4th c), the Armenian (5th c), the Georgian (5th c), and the Ethiopic (6th c). 30] John's Gospel would not have been translated along with the other New Testament writings unless it had been considered a part of the orthodox beliefs of the Church at large.

30] The Old Latin Bible manuscripts of the fifth century, Codex Bezae (Gospels, Acts , Catholic epistles), Codex Claromontanus (Pauline epistles), and Codex Floriacensis ( Acts , Catholic epistles, Revelation) were used prior to Jerome's Vulgate (beginning A. D 382), and these Old Latin manuscripts testify to the canonization of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament at an early date. See Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, eds, The Greek New Testament, Third Edition (United Bible Societies, c 1966, 1968, 1975), xxxi-xxxiv.

C. Catholicity- The third and final phase of New Testament canonicity placed emphasis upon the aspect of catholicity, or the general acceptance of the canonical books. F. B. Westcott says, "The extent of the Canon, like the order of the Sacraments, was settled by common usage, and thus the testimony of Christians becomes the testimony of the Church." 31] This phase is best represented in the period of Church councils of the fourth century as bishops met and agreed upon a list of canonical books generally accepted by the catholic Church. However, approved canons were listed by individual Church fathers as early as the second century. These books exhibited a dynamic impact upon the individual believers through their characteristic of divine inspiration, transforming them into Christian maturity, being used frequently by the church at large. We will look at two testimonies of catholicity: (1) the Early Church Canons, and (2) Early Church Councils.

31] Brooke Foss Westcott, A General History of the Canon of the New Testament (London: Macmillan and Co, 1875), 12.

1. Early Church Canons- Every major canon of the early Church lists four Gospels as an authentic writings. Although the Muratorian Canon does not begin its damaged text until the Gospel of Luke , Matthew and Mark can be assumed to be a part of this early canon (A.D 180) (Fragments of Caius 3: Canon Muratorianus 2) (ANF 5). Eusebius (A.D 260 to 340) includes them in his list of "acknowledged books." 32] The four Gospels are listed in the Cheltenham List (A.D 359). 33] Athanasius gives us a canonical list that includes them (c 367). 34] Cyril of Jerusalem (A.D 315-386) includes them in his list. 35] The Apostolic Constitutions includes all but the book of Revelation (late 4th c.). 36] Inclusion into these canons indicates that the Gospels were universally accepted by the Church at large.

32] See Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 331-7; 324-25.

33] W. Sanday, The Cheltenham List of the Canonical Books of the Old and New Testament and the Writings of Cyprian, in Studia Biblica ed Ecclesiastica: Essays Chiefly in Biblical and Patristic Criticism, vol 3 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1891) 217-303.

34] See Athansius, Festal Letters 395 (Easter, 367) (NPF 2 4).

35] See Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures 436 (NPF 2 7).

36] See The Ecclesiastical Canons of the Same Holy Apostles 4785 (ANF 7).

2. Early Church Councils- The earliest major Church councils named the four Gospels as authentic writings; Nicea (c 325-40), Hippo (393), Carthage (397), and Carthage (419). This would not have been done unless the church at large believed them to be canonical.

During the fourth century, the Roman emperor Constantine was converted to Christianity and ordered Eusebius to produce fifty copies of the Scriptures. 37] The production and distribution of these Bibles, along with the Church synods that followed, served to confirm the twenty-seven books of the New Testament as canonical and authoritative. The early Church traditions of authorship and authenticity became firmly embedded within their canonicity. Therefore, citations of the New Testament Scriptures and later manuscript evidence after this period of Church history only serve to repeat traditions that had already become well-known and established among the churches of the fourth century.

37] Brooke Foss Westcott, A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament, fourth edition (London: Macmillan and Co, 1875), 422-426.

D. John"s Biography - John's biography discusses (1) John's Name, (2) John's Family, (3) John's Calling, (4) John's Life and Ministry, and (5) John's Death.

1. John's Name - Some scholars say the name "John" ( ἰωάννης) (G 2491) is a contraction of the Hebrew name "Jehohanan" or "Johanan" ( יְהוֹחָנָן) (H 3076), or ( ιωαναν) (LXX), meaning "whom Jehovah gave" (Gesenius), "Jehovah-endowed" (Strong), or "Jehovah hath been gracious" (BDB). This Hebrew name is found six times in the Old Testament ( 1 Chronicles 26:3, 2 Chronicles 17:15; 2 Chronicles 23:1, Ezra 10:28, Nehemiah 12:13; Nehemiah 12:42).

2. John's Family- John the apostle was the son of Zebedee according to Matthew 27:56.

Matthew 27:56, "Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee"s children."

If we compare the list of names in Mark 15:40-41 to those in Matthew 27:56, it is very likely that Salome was John"s mother, though there is no direct mention of this in Scripture.

Mark 15:40-41, "There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem."

If we now compare the parallel verse in John 19:25, we may conclude that Salome, the mother of Zebedee"s children, is also referred to by John as "the sister of Jesus" mother."

John 19:25, "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother"s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene."

Therefore, many scholars go so far as to suggest that John was related to Jesus Christ through his mother Salome. In his Gospel, John neither mentions his own name, nor the name of Mary, the mother of Jesus, nor the name of his own mother Salome. Thus, if John is deliberately avoiding the use of these names, he may very well be referring to his mother as "the sister to the mother of Jesus." Thus, the fact that John avoids using these particular names is an indication to his relationship to them. Albert Barnes cites Theophylact (11th c.), who says John the apostle was related to Jesus Christ:

"Joseph had seven children by a former wife, four sons and three daughters, Martha, Esther , and Salome, whose son John was; therefore Salome was reckoned our Lord's sister, and John was his nephew." (Enarratio in Evangelium Ioannis) (PG 123col 1136A) 38]

38] Albert Barnes, The Gospel According to John , in Barnes" Notes, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1997), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), "Introduction."

Adam Clarke says, "In a MS. of the Greek Testament in the Imperial Library of Vienna, numbered 34in Lambecius's Catalogue, there is a marginal note which agrees pretty much with the account given above by Theophylact: viz. ‘John the evangelist was cousin to our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh: for Joseph, the spouse of the God-bearing virgin, had four sons by his own wife, James , Simon, Jude , and Joses, and three daughters, Esther , and Thamar, and a third who, with her mother, was called Salome, who was given by Joseph in marriage to Zebedee: of her, Zebedee begot James , and John also the evangelist.' The writer of the MS. professes to have taken this account from the commentaries of St Sophronius." 39]

39] Adam Clarke, The Preacher's Manual: Including Clavis Biblica, and A Letter to a Methodist Preacher (New York: G. Lane and P. P. Sandford, 1842), 37.

Albert Barnes adds that this kinship may very well explain why James and John sought the first places in this new kingdom ( Matthew 20:20-21), or why Jesus committed His mother into the hands of John while on the Cross ( John 19:27), or why John was considered the "beloved disciple." 40]

40] Albert Barnes, The Gospel According to John , in Barnes" Notes, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1997), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), "Introduction."

John and his brother James were not poor by the standards of their day, for their father had hired servants attending them ( Mark 1:20).

Mark 1:20, "And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him."

A second indication of the wealth of John"s family is seen in the fact that the high priest allowed John to come in to Jesus" trial, as if he recognized him ( John 18:15).

John 18:15, "And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest."

A third indication John"s family wealth is the fact that his mother, Salome, was able to minister to Jesus of her substance ( Matthew 15:40-41).

Matthew 27:55-56, "And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee"s children."

Mark 15:40-41, "There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem."

A fourth indication of John"s family wealth is seen in the fact that Jesus gave John custody of His mother Mary while on the cross ( John 19:26-27). Evidently, John had the financial capability of taking care of the mother of Jesus.

John 19:26-27, "When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home."

3. John's Calling- John the apostle was a disciple of John the Baptist, and one of the earliest disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ since he is most likely one of the two disciples of John the Baptist who first followed Jesus shortly after his baptism ( John 1:37-42).

John was, therefore, one of the few disciples who were an eyewitness of the early ministry of Jesus. Matthew records the calling of John and his brother James as disciples, while they were mending their fathers nets along the shores of the Sea of Galilee ( Matthew 4:21-22) and his commissioning as one of the twelve apostles ( Matthew 10:1-2).

Jesus later called James and John by the name "The Sons of Thunder," as a reference to their strong zeal and courage in serving the Lord ( Mark 3:17).

Mark 3:17, "And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which Isaiah , The sons of thunder:"

On two occasions John displayed this misdirected zeal. John tried to stop someone from casting out demons because he did not follow Jesus ( Luke 9:49). On another occasion John wanted to call fire down from heaven upon the Samaritans ( Luke 9:54). Both times, Jesus corrected him.

Luke 9:49, "And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us."

Luke 9:54, "And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?"

John continued with Jesus as a close friend and became known as the beloved disciple, the one who leaned upon the breast of Jesus. He was one of the three apostles that held a very close relationship with Jesus, along with James and Peter. It is interesting to note that Jesus, being a Galilean, chose three men of Galilee as His intimate companions. Finally, John was the only disciple that the Gospels record as being at the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.

4. John's Life and Ministry- We know from the book of Acts that John spent many years in Jerusalem after the Crucifixion, quietly ministering by the side of Peter ( Acts 1:13-14; Acts 3:1; Acts 4:13).

Acts 1:13-14, "And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James , and John, and Andrew, Philippians , and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew , James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren."

Acts 3:1, "Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour."

Acts 4:13, "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus."

John was later sent to Samaria with Peter to lay hands on the new converts ( Acts 8:14).

Acts 8:14, "Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:"

He probably dwelt in Jerusalem during the years of Paul"s missionary journeys as one of the three pillars of the Church, along with Peter and James , the brother of the Lord. We see this in one of Paul"s earliest epistles written to the Galatians.

Galatians 2:9, "And when James , Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision."

He was probably at the council of Jerusalem found in Acts 15 along with the other apostles. This event took place around A.D 49 to 59.

One Catholic tradition tells us that John the apostle remained in Jerusalem and cared for the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ until her death about fifteen years after the Crucifixion of Jesus. Adam Clarke says, "John was banished by the Roman emperor, Domitian, to the isle of Patmos, in the Aegean Sea: but his successor Nerva having recalled all the exiles banished by Domitian, John returned to Ephesus, where he died, aged upward of one hundred years. The holy Virgin is said to have lived with him till her death, which took place about fifteen years after the crucifixion." 41]

41] Adam Clarke, The Preacher's Manual: Including Clavis Biblica, and A Letter to a Methodist Preacher (New York: G. Lane and P. P. Sandford, 1842), 37.

John the apostle is believed to have moved to Asia Minor to oversee the churches planted by Paul the apostle. We see in the Revelation of John the apostle a reference to the churches of Asia Minor. Jesus appears to John and gives him messages for seven churches. The fact that Jesus would give these messages to John , and not another, to deliver to the seven churches is a likely indication that John was overseeing these churches. The early Church fathers tell us that John the apostle later moved to Asia Minor, probably Ephesus, since it was the economic center of this region or because of its central location geographically or because of the well-founded church that Paul established in this city, and he lived there until his death. There is no record of when John the apostle moved from Jerusalem to Asia Minor and the city of Ephesus. Philip Schaff says that it was probably not before the death of Paul around A.D 63, since there are no references to John in Paul"s letters to his churches in Asia Minor. He supposes that the death of Paul and Peter in Rome would have urged John to take charge of these churches. 42] Since Ephesus was the capital of that region of the Roman Empire, it would have been the choice city to take up residence in order to manage nearby churches. Therefore, it is most likely that he moved to Ephesus in the 60"s. Perhaps his move was also encouraged by the Jewish War of A.D 66-70, which would have made Judea a very dangerous place to live for a Jew.

42] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 425.

Justin Martyr was living in Ephesus when he wrote his dialogue with Trypho the Jew about A.D 135. 43] He says that John the Apostle lived "with us," that Isaiah , in Ephesus. 44]

43] "St. Justin Martyr," in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, revised, eds. F. L. Cross, and E. A. Livingstone (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), 770.

44] Justin Martyr writes, "And further, there was a certain man with us, whose name was John , one of the apostles of Christ…" (Dialogue of Justin 81)

Irenaeus writes, "…those who were conversant in Asia with John , the disciple of the Lord, [affirming] that John conveyed to them that information. And he remained among them up to the times of Trajan." (Against Heresies 2225) Irenaeus then says, "Afterwards, John , the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia." (Against Heresies 311) He also says, "Then, again, the Church in Ephesus, founded by Paul, and having John remaining among them permanently until the times of Trajan, is a true witness of the tradition of the apostles." (Against Heresies 334)

Eusebius cites Irenaeus, who says, "For when I was a boy, I saw thee in lower Asia with Polycarp, moving in splendor in the royal court, and endeavoring to gain his approbation. I remember the events of that time more clearly than those of recent years. For what boys learn, growing with their mind, becomes joined with it; so that I am able to describe the very place in which the blessed Polycarp sat as he discoursed, and his goings out and his comings in, and the manner of his life, and his physical appearance, and his discourses to the people, and the accounts which he gave of his intercourse with John and with the others who had seen the Lord." (Ecclesiastical History 5205-6)

Eusebius says, "He speaks, moreover, of a tradition that the Saviour commanded his apostles not to depart from Jerusalem for twelve years. He uses testimonies also from the Revelation of John , and he relates that a dead man had, through the Divine power, been raised by John himself in Ephesus." (Ecclesiastical History 51813)

Eusebius says, "For neither could Anicetus persuade Polycarp not to observe what he had always observed with John the disciple of our Lord, and the other apostles with whom he had associated." (Ecclesiastical History 52416)

As some point in John the apostle's ministry over the churches in Asia Minor, he was banished to the isle of Patmos by the Roman emperor named Domitian. Many of the early church fathers, such as Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Tertullian, Eusebius, and Jerome, record the banishment of John to the island of Patmos. The earliest witness, Irenaeus, gives us the time of this banishment as taking place during the latter part of the reign of Domitian, who ruled Rome from A.D 81to 96.

"We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For that was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian"s reign." (Against Heresies 5303) (See also Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 586)

Nathaniel Lardner cites comments by Origen on John's banishment, saying, "Origen, explaining Matt. xx 23says: ‘James the brother of John , was killed with a sword by Herod. And a Roman emperor, as tradition teaches, banished John into the island Patmos for the testimony which he bore to the word of truth. And John himself bears witness to his banishment, omitting the name of the emperor, by whom he was banished, saying in the Revelation: " 1 John , who also am your brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle of Patmos, for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ." And it seems, that the Revelation was seen in that island.' 45]

45] Nathaniel Lardner, The Works of Nathaniel Lardner, D.D. in Five Volumes, vol 3 (London: T. Bensley, 1815), 221.

Tertullian records the tradition that John the apostle was placed into a pot of boiling oil and emerged unharmed. He writes, "How happy is its church, on which apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood! where Peter endures a passion like his Lord's! where Paul wins his crown in a death like John's where the Apostle John was first plunged, unhurt, into boiling oil, and thence remitted to his island-exile!" (The Prescription Against Heretics 36)

Adam Clarke says, "Tertullian and others say that Domitian having declared war against the church of Christ, in the 15th year of his reign, A.D 95, John was banished from Ephesus, and carried to Rome, where he was immersed in a cauldron of boiling oil, out of which however he escaped unhurt; and that afterward he was banished to the isle of Patmos, in the AEgean Sea, where he wrote the Apocalypse. Domitian having been slain in A.D 96, his successor Nerva recalled all the exiles who had been banished by his predecessor; and John is supposed to have returned the next year to Ephesus, being then about ninety years of age…." 46]

46] Adam Clarke, John , in Adam Clarke"s Commentary, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1996), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), "Introduction."

Hippolytus follows the tradition that John was banished to the isle of Patmos during the reign of Domitian and died during the reign of Trajan.

" John , again, in Asia, was banished by Domitian the king to the isle of Patmos, in which also he wrote his Gospel and saw the apocalyptic vision; and in Trajan"s time he fell asleep at Ephesus, where his remains were sought for, but could not be found." (Appendix to the Works of Hippolytus 49: On the Twelve Apostles Where Each of Them Preached, and Where He Met His End 3) (ANF 5)

Eusebius tells us that that Clement of Alexandria follows the tradition that John returned to the city of Ephesus after his exile on the island of Patmos.

"Clement likewise in his book entitled What Rich Man can be saved? indicates the time…When the tyrant was dead, he departed from the island Patmos to Ephesus…" (Ecclesiastical History 3235)

Eusebius tells us that according to church tradition John returned from his banishment on the island of Patmos before his death and took up residence in Ephesus, at which place he died. Note:

"Tertullian also has mentioned Domitian in the following words: ‘Domitian also, who possessed a share of Nero"s cruelty, attempted once to do the same thing that the latter did. But because he had, I suppose, some intelligence, he very soon ceased, and even recalled those whom he had banished.' But after Domitian had reigned fifteen years, and Nerva had succeeded to the empire, the Roman Senate, according to the writers that record the history of those days, voted that Domitian"s honors should be cancelled, and that those who had been unjustly banished should return to their homes and have their property restored to them. It was at this time that the apostle John returned from his banishment in the island and took up his abode at Ephesus, according to an ancient Christian tradition." (Ecclesiastical History 3209-10)

"At that time the apostle and evangelist John , the one whom Jesus loved, was still living in Asia, and governing the churches of that region, having returned after the death of Domitian from his exile on the island." (Ecclesiastical History 3231)

"and, moreover, John , who was both a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord, and, being a priest, wore the sacerdotal plate. He fell asleep at Ephesus." (Ecclesiastical History 5242-3)

Epiphanius writes, "Later, therefore, though from caution and humility he had declined to be an evangelist, the Holy Spirit compelled John to issue the Gospel in his old age when he was past ninety, after his return from Patmos under Claudius Caesar, and several years of his residence in Asia." (The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis, Heresy 51121) 47]

47] The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis, Books II and III (Sects 47-80, De Fide), trans. Frank Williams (Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, c 1994), 36.

Adam Clarke cites Jerome, who say, "John continued preaching when he was so enfeebled with old age that he was obliged to be carried into the assembly; and that, not being able to deliver any long discourse, his custom was to say, in every meeting, My dear children, love one another!" 48]

48] Jerome, Commentary on Galatians 6:10 (PL 26 Colossians 433C).

The numerous events of John the apostle's life recorded in the Apocryphal Acts of John, which is considered a second century document, lacks credibility among scholars today. 49]

49] Bernhard Pick, The Apocryphal Acts of Paul, Peter, John , Andrew and Thomas (Chicago, OH: The Open Court Publishing Co, 1909), 123-199.

5. John's Death- John lived and ministered after his exile in Ephesus until the time of his death, which Eusebius quotes from Irenaeus as being during the time of Trajan, who began ruling Rome in A.D 98.

"At that time the apostle and evangelist John , the one whom Jesus loved, was still living in Asia, and governing the churches of that region, having returned after the death of Domitian from his exile on the island. And that he was still alive at that time may be established by the testimony of two witnesses. They should be trustworthy who have maintained the orthodoxy of the Church; and such indeed were Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria. The former in the second book of his work Against Heresies, writes as follows: ‘And all the elders that associated with John the disciple of the Lord in Asia bear witness that John delivered it to them. For he remained among them until the time of Trajan.' And in the third book of the same work he attests the same thing in the following words: "But the church in Ephesus also, which was founded by Paul, and where John remained until the time of Trajan, is a faithful witness of the apostolic tradition." (Ecclesiastical History 3231-3)

"…and moreover John , who was both a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord, and being a priest wore the sacerdotal plate. He also sleeps at Ephesus." (Ecclesiastical History 3313)

Epiphanius tells us that John brought Mary, the "holy virgin," with him into Asia Minor where he later died and was buried. (The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis, Heresy 78: Against Antidicomarians 11) 50]

50] S. Epiphanii Episcopi Constantiensis Panaria Eorumque Anacephalaeosis, tomi posterioris, pars prior, ed. Franciscus Oehler, in Corporis Haereseogolici, tomus secundus (Berolini:Apud A. Asher et Socios, 1861), 420-423.

Jerome tells us that John was banished to the island of Patmos during the reign of Domitian and stayed there until his death (A.D 96). John returned Ephesus to found and build churches until his death in the sixty-eighty year of the Lord's death (about A.D 98).

"In the fourteenth year then after Nero Domitian having raised a second persecution he was banished to the island of Patmos, and wrote the Apocalypse, on which Justin Martyr and Irenaeus afterwards wrote commentaries. But Domitian having been put to death and his Acts , on account of his excessive cruelty, having been annulled by the senate, he returned to Ephesus under Pertinax and continuing there until the tithe of the emperor Trajan, founded and built churches throughout all Asia, and, worn out by old age, died in the sixty-eighth year after our Lord"s passion and was buried near the same city." (Lives of Illustrious Men 9)

Sophronius (A.D 560 to 638), patriarch of Jerusalem, follows the tradition of Jerome, saying, "In the sixty-eighth year after the Passion of the Lord, John reposed in great old age near Ephesus." (The Life of the Evangelist John) (PG 123col 1127) 51]

51] Sophronius, The Life of the Evangelist John , in Orthodox Classics in English (House Springs, MO: The Chrysostom Press) [on-line]; accessed 1December 2010; available from http://www.chrysostompress.org/the-four-evangelists; Internet.

Isho'dad of Merv (c. A.D 850), the Syriac bishop of Hadatha, records the tradition that John lived long after the ascension of Jesus, dying in the city of Ephesus.

"Now John lived after our Lord's Ascension seventy-three years, and then died peacefully at the great city of Ephesus." 52]

52] Margaret Dunlop Gibson, ed. and trans, The Commentaries of Isho'dad of Merv Bishop of Hadatha (c 850 A.D.) in Syriac and English, in Horae Semiticae, vol 5 (Cambridge: The University Press, 1911), 212.

It is generally believed that John was the only apostle that did not face a martyr"s death. Philip Schaff says historical records testify that John"s grave was shown to be in Ephesus into the second century. 53]

53] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 424.

II. Date and Place of Writing

The traditional date and place of the writing of John's Gospel is the city of Ephesus around the mid to late 90's while John the elder was overseeing the churches in Asia Minor.

A. Date of Writing- The traditional date of the writing of John's Gospel has much support for being in the mid to late 90's.

1. Internal Evidence for Date- Regarding the date of writing, internal evidence reveals that John very likely wrote his Gospel after the death of Peter, because John refers to Peter"s death and the glory that it brought to the Lord in John 21:18-19.

John 21:18-19, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake Hebrews , signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me."

In addition, the phrase "the Jews" is used throughout this Gospel within the context of their rejection of Christ. This suggests a later period of authorship, when Jewish opposition to the Christian faith had hardened into persecution.

2. External Evidence for Date- If the internal evidence for the date of writing reveals that John most likely wrote his Gospel after the death of Peter, then Jerome (A.D 342to 420) gives us a clue as to the date of Peter's death. He tells us that Peter died around A.D 68 on the same day as Paul.

"He (Paul) then, in the fourteenth year of Nero on the same day with Peter, was beheaded at Rome for Christ"s sake and was buried in the Ostian way, the twenty-seventh year after our Lord"s passion." (Lives of Illustrious Men 5)

Early Church tradition holds that John wrote his Gospel after the Synoptic Gospels were written. Eusebius (A.D 260 to 340), quoting Irenaeus, gives the order of writing as Matthew ,, Mark , Luke then John.

"Since, in the beginning of this work, we promised to give, when needful, the words of the ancient presbyters and writers of the Church, in which they have declared those traditions which came down to them concerning the canonical books, and since Irenaeus was one of them, we will now give his words and, first, what he says of the sacred Gospels: "Matthew published his Gospel among the Hebrews in their own language, while Peter and Paul were preaching and founding the church in Rome. After their departure Mark , the disciple and interpreter of Peter, also transmitted to us in writing those things which Peter had preached; and Luke , the attendant of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel which Paul had declared. Afterwards John , the disciple of the Lord, who also reclined on his bosom, published his Gospel, while staying at Ephesus in Asia." He states these things in the third book of his above-mentioned work." (Ecclesiastical History 581-5)

Eusebius later refers to the writings of Clement of Alexandria in attempting to give an order to the writings of the four Gospels. Matthew and Luke would have been written first, followed by Mark , and finally John.

"Again, in the same books, Clement gives the tradition of the earliest presbyters, as to the order of the Gospels, in the following manner: The Gospels containing the genealogies, he says, were written first. The Gospel according to Mark's had this occasion. As Peter had preached the Word publicly at Rome, and declared the Gospel by the Spirit, many who were present requested that Mark , who had followed him for a long time and remembered his sayings, should write them out. And having composed the Gospel he gave it to those who had requested it. When Peter learned of this, he neither directly forbade nor encouraged it. But, last of all, John , perceiving that the external facts had been made plain in the Gospel, being urged by his friends, and inspired by the Spirit, composed a spiritual Gospel. This is the account of Clement." (Ecclesiastical History 6145-7)

Eusebius then quotes Origen, who gives us the same order of the writing of the four Gospels. They are again given by him as Matthew ,, Mark , Luke and John.

"In his [Origen"s] first book on Matthew"s Gospel, maintaining the Canon of the Church, he testifies that he knows only four Gospels, writing as follows: ‘Among the four Gospels, which are the only indisputable ones in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the first was written by Matthew , who was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for the converts from Judaism, and published in the Hebrew language. The second is by Mark , who composed it according to the instructions of Peter, who in his Catholic epistle acknowledges him as a Song of Solomon , saying, "The church that is at Babylon elected together with you, saluteth you, and so doth Marcus, my son." And the third by Luke , the Gospel commended by Paul, and composed for Gentile converts. Last of all that by John.'" (Ecclesiastical History 6253-6)

Thus, the early church fathers accepted the order of the writing of the four Gospels as Matthew ,, Mark , Luke and John. This is same the order in which we find these writings placed in the New Testament. This tradition found its way through the Medieval period. For example, Theophylact (11th c.) says:

"Hence, Matthew first of all wrote the Gospel in the Hebrew language to those who believed of the Hebrews eight years after the ascension of Christ, and this John translated it from the Hebrew tongue to the Greek, as they say; and Mark wrote ten years after the Ascension from the teachings of Peter; and Luke after fifteen years; and John the theologian after thirty-two [years]." (Preface to Matthew) (PG 123col 145C-D) (author's translation)

In the 1200's St. Thomas Aquinas, writing in his Catena Aurea on Matthew , quotes Remigius of Auzerre (c. A.D 841to c. A.D 908) (PL 131cols 47-970), a medieval philosopher, who also wrote a commentaries on Genesis ,, Psalm , and Matthew. 54] In this quote, we see the thoughts of later centuries as to the dates and places of writings of the four Gospels:

54] F. L. Cross, and E. A. Livingstone, eds, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, revised (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), 1173.

"Matthew wrote in Judaea in the time of the Emperor Caius Caligula [A.D 37-41]; Mark in Italy, at Rome, in the time of Nero [A.D 54-68] or Claudius [A.D 41-54], according to Rabanus (referring to Rabanus Maurus [A.D 776 or 784to A.D 856]); Luke in the parts of Achaia and Baeotia, at the request of Theophilus; John at Ephesus, in Asia Minor, under Nerva [began rule A.D 96]." 55]

55] Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea: Commentary on the Four Gospels, Collected out of the Works of the Fathers, vol 1, part 1, second edition (Oxford: John Henry, 1864), 5.

In this quote, we see that the traditional order of writing and dates of writing of the Gospels were generally believed by the Church for the first seventeen centuries to be those handed down by the early Church fathers, until higher criticism arose in Europe in the 1700's.

Thus, internal and external evidence supports a date of writing of the Gospel of John from the mid 60's to late 90's.

B. Place of Writing- Both internal and external evidence supports the place of the writing of John's Gospel as Asia Minor, with Ephesus being the most likely city.

1. Internal Evidence for Place- Everett Harrison states several internal evidences that would place John the apostle in Asia Minor, especially Ephesus, when he pinned all five of his canonized writings. First, the book of Revelation addresses seven churches in Asia Minor. This clearly indicates that John was addressing this population of churches because he had become their overseer. The second evidence is seen in John's Gospel where a great emphasis is placed upon John the Baptist's subordinate role to Jesus Christ. This emphasis may have been prompted by the Ephesians high esteem for the ministry of John the Baptist implied in Acts 19:1-3. 56] However, this suggestion does not consider the fact that the Gospel of John is a collection of testimonies to the deity of Jesus Christ, of which John the Baptist served as one of those witnesses.

56] Everett F. Harrison, Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, c 1964, 1971), 217.

Acts 19:1-3, "And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John"s baptism."

2. External Evidence for Place- Regarding the place of writing, Irenaeus tells us that John wrote his Gospel while living in the city of Ephesus. Church tradition tells us that he spent his later years in Ephesus with a ministry of preaching, teaching and writing.

"Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark , the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards, John , the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia." (Against Heresies 311)

Eusebius (A.D 260 to 340) quotes this same passage from Irenaeus.

"Since, in the beginning of this work, we promised to give, when needful, the words of the ancient presbyters and writers of the Church, in which they have declared those traditions which came down to them concerning the canonical books, and since Irenaeus was one of them, we will now give his words and, first, what he says of the sacred Gospels: ‘Matthew published his Gospel among the Hebrews in their own language, while Peter and Paul were preaching and founding the church in Rome. After their departure Mark , the disciple and interpreter of Peter, also transmitted to us in writing those things which Peter had preached; and Luke , the attendant of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel which Paul had declared. Afterwards John , the disciple of the Lord, who also reclined on his bosom, published his Gospel, while staying at Ephesus in Asia.' He states these things in the third book of his above-mentioned work." (Ecclesiastical History 581-5)

In the quote above, Eusebius says that John wrote his Gospel while in Ephesus, where he moved probably after the death of Peter and Paul. 57] Therefore, it is most likely that John wrote his Gospel between the late 60"s and the 90"s in Asia Minor, and probably in the city of Ephesus. As we have read above, it was more likely in the late 90's.

57] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 425.

Hippolytus tells us the John wrote his Gospel while on the isle of Patmos.

" John , again, in Asia, was banished by Domitian the king to the isle of Patmos, in which also he wrote his Gospel and saw the apocalyptic vision; and in Trajan"s time he fell asleep at Ephesus, where his remains were sought for, but could not be found." (Appendix to the Works of Hippolytus 49: On the Twelve Apostles Where Each of Them Preached, and Where He Met His End 3) (ANF 5)

Louis Berkhof adds, "Origen testifies ‘that John , having lived long in Asia, was buried at Ephesus.' 58] This is confirmed by Polycrates, a bishop of Ephesus. Jerome says: ‘John wrote a Gospel at the desire of the bishops of Asia.' 59] And Cosmas of Alexandria informs us definitely that John composed his Gospel, while dwelling at Ephesus." 60]

58] Eusebius cites Origen, saying, "Meanwhile the holy apostles and disciples of our Saviour were dispersed throughout the world. Parthia, according to tradition, was allotted to Thomas as his field of labor, Scythia to Andrew, and Asia to John , who, after he had lived some time there, died at Ephesus… These facts are related by Origen in the third volume of his Commentary on Genesis." (Ecclesiastical History 311)

59] Jerome writes, " John ,the apostle whom Jesus most loved, the son of Zebedee and brother of James , the apostle whom Herod, after our Lord's passion, beheaded, most recently of all the evangelists wrote a Gospel, at the request of the bishops of Asia…" (Lives of Illustrious Men 9) Jerome also writes, "Ecclesiastical history relates that, when he [John] was urged by the brethren to write, he replied that he would do so if a general fast were proclaimed and all would offer up prayer to God; and when the fast was over, the narrative goes on to say, being filled with Revelation , he burst into the heaven-sent Preface: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God: this was in the beginning with God.'" (Preface to Commentary on Matthew) (NPF 2 6)

60] Louis Berkhof, The Gospel of John , in Introduction to the New Testament, electronic edition 2004-04-02 (Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library) [on-line]; accessed 23April 2010; available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/berkhof/newtestament.html; Internet, 59.

William Alexander cites Pseudo-Athanasius (4th -6th c.), who says John the apostle wrote his Gospel while in exile on the isle of Patmos.

"the Gospel according to John was both dictated by the John the apostle and beloved when in exile at Patmos, and by him was published in Ephesus, through Caius the beloved and friend of the apostles, of whom Paul writing to the Romans saith, Caius mine host and of the whole church." (Synopsis of the Sacred Scriptures) (PG 28 Colossians 433A-B) 61]

61] William Alexander, "Introduction," in The Epistles of St. John , in The Expositor's Bible, eds. William R. Nicoll and Oscar L. Joseph (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1956), in Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM] (Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2001), in "Chapter 21: The Quietness of True Religion, section I."

Sophronius (A.D 560 to 638) - Sophronius, patriarch of Jerusalem, appears to place John the apostle in Ephesus when writing his Gospel.

"John was the last of the Evangelists to write a Gospel. At the request of the bishops of Asia, he wrote his Gospel to combat the teachings of Cerinthus and other heretics, and especially the newly appeared doctrine of the Ebionites, who claimed that Christ did not exist until Mary gave birth to Him." (The Life of the Evangelist Luke) (PG 123col 1127) 62]

62] Sophronius, The Life of the Evangelist John , in Orthodox Classics in English (House Springs, MO: The Chrysostom Press) [on-line]. Accessed 1December 2010. Available from http://www.chrysostompress.org/the-four-evangelists; Internet.

As stated above, St. Thomas Aquinas, writing in his Catena Aurea on Matthew , quotes Remigius of Auzerre (c. A.D 841to c 908) as saying that the place of writing for John's Gospel was Ephesus, in Asia Minor, under Nerva (began rule A.D 96). 63] Ebedjesu (d 1318), the Syrian bishop, reflects medieval tradition saying John wrote His Gospel in Ephesus. 64]

63] Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea: Commentary on the Four Gospels, Collected out of the Works of the Fathers, vol 1, part 1, second edition (Oxford: John Henry, 1864), 5.

64] Ebedjesu writes, "John also wrote his Gospel in Greek at Ephesus." See Nathaniel Lardner, The Works of Nathaniel Lardner, vol 4 (London: Joseph Ogle Robinson, 1829), 321; George Percy Badger, The Nestorians and their Rituals, vol 2 (London: Joseph Masters, 1852), 362.

III. Recipients

Both internal and external evidence supports the tradition that John was writing primarily to the Church at the request of the saints, and secondarily, he was writing to the Jews and Gentiles.

A. Internal Evidence- Internal evidence reveals that John the apostle was writing primarily to the Gentile churches, especially of Asia Minor, which he was overseeing during the latter part of his life. It was during this period of his life that he wrote his Gospel, three epistles and the Apocalypse. Here are several reasons for suggesting that the initial recipients were Gentile Christians:

1. The Jews Are Spoken of as Rejecting Jesus Their Messiah while the Gentiles Accepted Him- The term "Jews" is used much more frequently in John"s Gospel than in the Synoptic Gospels. In these references to the Jews, John appears to reveal them as hostile adversaries of Gospel. This may be because John was writing to a different audience, perhaps the Churches of Asia Minor, during the period that he was overseeing these churches and living in Ephesus.

In addition, John contrasts the many references about the rejection of Jesus by the Jews to a few passages about His acceptance by the Samaritans ( John 4:1-42), the Galileans ( John 4:43-54) and the Greeks ( John 12:20-26). These three passages are unique to John's Gospel. Thus, he weaves this theme throughout His Gospel. We also see this anti-Jewish view in John"s other writings. For example, in his Apocalypse, John calls the Jewish synagogues of Asia Minor "the synagogues of Satan."

2. John Explains Jewish Phrases, Customs and Geography- John takes the time in his Gospel to explain simple Jewish terms that were not necessary to explain to a Jew. This is very strong evidence that his initial recipients were Gentile Christians. The author carefully interprets Hebrew and Aramaic words.

John 1:38, "Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?"

John 1:41, "He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which Isaiah , being interpreted, the Christ."

John 1:42, "And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone."

John 5:1-2, "After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches."

John 9:7, "And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing."

John 11:16, "Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him."

John 19:13, "When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha."

John 19:17, "And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:"

John 20:16, "Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master."

He makes it a point to explain Jewish customs and geographical designations.

John 1:28, "These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing."

John 2:1, "And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:"

John 4:4-5, "And he must needs go through Samaria. Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph."

John 4:9, "Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans."

John 7:2, "Now the Jews" feast of tabernacles was at hand."

John 7:37, "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink."

John 19:31, "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away."

John 19:40, "Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury."

John 19:42, "There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews" preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand."

3. The Epistles of John & the Apocalypse Reveal Him as Overseeing Gentile Churches- The epistles of John reveal that he was a highly respected elder over Gentile churches and these churches were likely recipients. The epistles reveal that these Gentile churches were facing the perils of false teachers, whom John fiercely fought against.

However, after noting these three points, we must acknowledge that the author does not place any restrictions upon whom he intends to reach. According to John 1:7, the testimony of his Gospel is for the purpose of bringing all men unto salvation through the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

John 1:7, "The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe."

Whoever the intended recipients were, whether converts or pagans, Jew or Gentile, the author attempted to strengthen their faith in the deity of the Lord Jesus, according to John 20:31.

John 20:31, "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."

B. External Evidence- Gregory Naziansen (A. D 329-389), the theologian, gives us a list of the primary recipients of the four Gospels that reflects the traditions of his day, saying, "In the first place, Matthew wrote to the Hebrews of the miracles of Jesus, then Mark to Italy, Luke to those of Achaia, and John to all, a great herald who walked in heaven." (PG 38 Colossians 843-845.) (author's translation) (Gregorii Nazianzeni Carmen de Libris Canonicis 15]). 65] This tradition has been interpreted modern scholars to say that Matthew wrote to the Hebrews , Mark to the Romans , Luke to the Greeks and John to Christians. 66] The three Synoptic Gospels addressed the three mindsets of the civilized world of their day. Matthew , Mark and Luke lived in a world where the Jewish mind took religion to the world's most ancient past. The Roman mind was focused on dominating and subduing nations. The Greek mindset sought the highest wisdom that man could find. Matthew wrote primarily to the Hebrews to establish Jesus as their Messiah. Mark addressed his Gospel to the Romans , who would bow before the Miracle-working power of the Jesus Christ. Luke gave attention to the Greek mind, where he spoke to logic and reason to convince his readers of the wisdom of believing in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. Why would Matthew's Gospel come first? Perhaps because to the Jews first was the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ prepared.

65] Cited by Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1: Apostolic Christianity A.D 1-100 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 582.

66] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1: Apostolic Christianity A.D 1-100 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 582.

Gregory Naziansen (A. D 329-389), the Church theologian, says after listing the books of the Old Testament canon, "And already for me, I have received all those of the New Testament. First, to the Hebrews Matthew the saint composed what was according to him the Gospel; second, in Italy Mark the divine; third, in Achaia Luke the all-wise; and John , thundering the heavenlies, indeed preached to all common men; after whom the miracles and deeds of the wise apostles, and Paul the divine herald fourteen epistles; and catholic seven, of which one is of James the brother of God, and two are of Peter the head, and of John again the evangelist, three, and seventh is Jude the Zealot. All are united and accepted; and if one of them is found outside, it is not placed among the genuine ones." (PG 38 Colossians 845) (author's translation) 67]

67] Cited by Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1: Apostolic Christianity A.D 1-100 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 582.

In the nineteenth century, a popular view was to apply a four-fold scheme for the recipients of the Gospels, such as D. S. Gregory, who said Matthew wrote to Jews, Mark to the Romans , Luke to the Greeks, and John to Christians. 68]

68] D. S. Gregory, Why Four Gospels? Or, The Gospel for All the World (New York: Sheldon and Company, 1877), 346-347.

IV. Occasion

We can see from the writings of the early Church fathers two particular reasons why John felt it necessary to write His Gospel.

A. John Was Compelled by His Disciples to Record the Early Ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ- We can see from studying the quotes of the early Church fathers that John the apostle was encouraged to write his Gospel for at least two reasons. First, his disciples asked him to record the events of the Lord Jesus Christ before the imprisonment of John the Baptist, since the Synoptic Gospels did not record the early years of Jesus' ministry. Therefore, John wrote his Gospel because of the prompting of his disciples.

Eusebius writes, "For it is evident that the three evangelists recorded only the deeds done by the Saviour for one year after the imprisonment of John the Baptist, and indicated this in the beginning of their account….They say, therefore, that the apostle John , being asked to do it for this reason, gave in his Gospel an account of the period which had been omitted by the earlier evangelists, and of the deeds done by the Saviour during that period; that Isaiah , of those which were done before the imprisonment of the Baptist." (Ecclesiastical History 3248-11)

Jerome writes, "The last is John , the Apostle and Evangelist ... Ecclesiastical history relates that, when he was urged by the brethren to write, he replied that he would do so if a general fast were proclaimed and all would offer up prayer to God; and when the fast was over, the narrative goes on to say, being filled with Revelation , he burst into the heaven-sent Preface: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God: this was in the beginning with God.'" (Preface to Commentary on Matthew) (NPF 2 6)

Jerome writes, " John , the apostle whom Jesus most loved, the son of Zebedee and brother of James , the apostle whom Herod, after our Lord"s passion, beheaded, most recently of all the evangelists wrote a Gospel, at the request of the bishops of Asia," (Lives of Illustrious Men 7)

Sophronius (A.D 560 to 638), patriarch of Jerusalem, says John wrote in order to record the final year of the Lord's ministry at the request of the bishops of Asia, "There is another reason why he wrote. After examining the Gospels of Matthew , Mark and Luke from beginning to end, John confirmed that they had recorded the truth [in contrast to authors of other, Song of Solomon -called gospels then in circulation]. Then he composed his own Gospel, focusing on the final year of the Lord's earthly ministry and on His Passion. John omitted most of the events of the previous two years because these had already been faithfully recorded by Matthew , Mark and Luke. A careful study of the four Gospels will resolve the apparent discrepancies between John's narrative and the narratives of the other three Evangelists.." (The Life of the Evangelist John) (PG 123col 1127) 69]

69] Sophronius, The Life of the Evangelist John , in Orthodox Classics in English (House Springs, MO: The Chrysostom Press) [on-line]. Accessed 1December 2010. Available from http://www.chrysostompress.org/the-four-evangelists; Internet.

Isho'dad of Merv (c. A.D 850), the Syriac bishop of Hadatha, records the tradition that the disciples of John asked him to record the early ministry of Jesus Christ that was lacking in the other three Gospels. In his Gospel, John focused upon the Divinity and miracles of Jesus Christ.

"Now after our Lord had ascended to Heaven, but the Disciples had gone out to preach the Gospel in all the regions of Judaea and of other places; and the three Books of the Gospels, of Matthew , and of Mark , and of Luke , were preached in every place; the Blessed John also went and lived of Ephesus, the city of Asia; and also visited all Asia and round about it; but the brethren in Asia, because they believed that the testimony of John was firmer than that of any Prayer of Manasseh , as of one who had intercourse with our Lord from the beginning, brought him these three books of the Gospels, that they might learn from him what opinion he held about them. But he praised highly the truth of the writers, saying, They were written by the grace of the Spirit. Yet nevertheless they were a little deficient in the miracles which our Lord wrought; and seriously defective in the doctrine about His Divinity; so on account of that, there was a request to him from all the brethren, that he would diligently write the things that were necessarily wanting and defective in those others. Now he consented to them and to the Spirit." 70]

70] Margaret Dunlop Gibson, ed. and trans, The Commentaries of Isho'dad of Merv Bishop of Hadatha (c 850 A.D.) in Syriac and English, in Horae Semiticae, vol 5 (Cambridge: The University Press, 1911), 211.

B. John Wrote to Counteract Heresies that were Creeping into the Church- Secondly, heresies were creeping into the church at this time and occasioned the need to defend the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. This appears to be the major reason that John was led by the Lord to write his Gospel. Irenaeus tells us that John wrote his Gospel in an effort to remove these errors from the Church

" John , the disciple of the Lord, preaches this faith, and seeks, by the proclamation of the Gospel, to remove that error which by Cerinthus had been disseminated among men, and a long time previously by those termed Nicolaitans, who are an offset of that "knowledge" falsely so called, that he might confound them, and persuade them that there is but one God, who made all things by His Word; and not, as they allege, that the Creator was one, but the Father of the Lord another; and that the Son of the Creator was, forsooth, one, but the Christ from above another, who also continued impossible, descending upon Jesus, the Son of the Creator, and flew back again into His Pleroma; and that Monogenes was the beginning, but Logos was the true son of Monogenes; and that this creation to which we belong was not made by the primary God, but by some power lying far below Him, and shut off from communion with the things invisible and ineffable. The disciple of the Lord therefore desiring to put an end to all such doctrines, and to establish the rule of truth in the Church, that there is one Almighty God, who made all things by His Word, both visible and invisible; showing at the same time, that by the Word, through whom God made the creation, He also bestowed salvation on the men included in the creation;" (Against Heresies 3111)

Victorinus, bishop of Pettau, tells us that John wrote his Gospel after writing the Apocalypse because the bishops of the Church compelled him due to the spread of heretics throughout the Christian world.

"And there was shown unto me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein."] A reed was shown like to a rod. This itself is the Apocalypse which he subsequently exhibited to the churches; for the Gospel of the complete faith he subsequently wrote for the sake of our salvation. For when Valentinus, and Cerinthus, and Ebion, and others of the school of Satan, were scattered abroad throughout the world, there assembled together to him from the neighbouring provinces all the bishops, and compelled him himself also to draw up his testimony." (Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John 11:1) (ANF 7)

Jerome gives both of the above reasons as the occasion for John writing his Gospel.

" John , the apostle whom Jesus most loved, the son of Zebedee and brother of James , the apostle whom Herod, after our Lord"s passion, beheaded, most recently of all the evangelists wrote a Gospel, at the request of the bishops of Asia, against Cerinthus and other heretics and especially against the then growing dogma of the Ebionites, who assert that Christ did not exist before Mary. On this account he was compelled to maintain His divine nativity. But there is said to be yet another reason for this work, in that when he had read Matthew ,, Mark , and Luke , he approved indeed the substance of the history and declared that the things they said were true, but that they had given the history of only one year, the one, that Isaiah , which follows the imprisonment of John and in which he was put to death. So passing by this year the events of which had been set forth by these, he related the events of the earlier period before John was shut up in prison, so that it might be manifest to those who should diligently read the volumes of the four Evangelists. This also takes away the discrepancy which there seems to be between John and the others." (Lives of Illustrious Men 9)

Sophronius (A.D 560 to 638), patriarch of Jerusalem, says, "John was the last of the Evangelists to write a Gospel. At the request of the bishops of Asia, he wrote his Gospel to combat the teachings of Cerinthus and other heretics, and especially the newly appeared doctrine of the Ebionites, who claimed that Christ did not exist until Mary gave birth to Him. This prompted John to expound on Christ's divine generation." (The Life of the Evangelist John) (PG 123col 1127) 71]

71] Sophronius, The Life of the Evangelist John , in Orthodox Classics in English (House Springs, MO: The Chrysostom Press) [on-line]. Accessed 1December 2010. Available from http://www.chrysostompress.org/the-four-evangelists; Internet.

Thus, we see that John has two reasons to write his Gospel. First, he needed to record the early ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, and second, he had to refute the heretics who were denying the deity of the Lord.

LITERARY STYLE (GENRE)

"Perhaps the most important issue in interpretation is the issue of genre.

If we misunderstand the genre of a text, the rest of our analysis will be askew."

(Thomas Schreiner) 72]

72] Thomas R. Schreiner, Interpreting the Pauline Epistles, second edition (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, c 1990, 2011), 11.

Within the historical setting of the early church, the authors of the four Gospels and Acts chose to write their accounts of the Lord Jesus Christ using a literary style similar to the Greco-Roman biographies; however, they adopted a unique aspect within their ancient biographies by including kerygmatic material consisting of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Thus, the Gospels and Acts are given a distinct literary genre called a "gospel," which combines biographical narrative material and kerygmatic teachings. In the introductory section of literary style, a comparison of the Gospels will be made, and a look at the various themes emphasized in John , as well as comments on its external influences, and a brief observation made regarding at the grammar and syntax of the Gospel of John.

V. Comparison of the Gospels

A comparison to the Synoptic Gospels reveals that the Gospel of John is very different from the other three Evangelists in many ways.

A. Comparison of Usage of the Old Testament- H. Berkhof says there are 613direct quotes and 1640 allusions to the Old Testament found within the books of the New Testament. 73] The index of the UBS3 lists Old Testament citations for each New Testament book: Matthew (61), Mark (30), Luke (26), and John (16). Allusions to the Old Testament are also cited in the footnotes of the UBS3, of which I count the following number: Matthew (138), Mark (47), Luke (161), and John (73). 74]

73] H. Berkhof, "Hoe leest het Nieuwe Testament het Oude?," in Homiletica en Biblica, vol 22, no 11 (Dec 1963), 242.

74] Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, The Greek New Testament, Third Edition (United Bible Societies, 1975), 900.

B. John's Gospel Contains the Greatest Amount of Unique Material among the Four Gospels- Ninety percent of the contents of John's Gospel is not found in the Synoptic Gospels. However, there are a number of stories in John"s Gospel that are found within the Synoptic Gospels.

a) The ministry of John the Baptist ( John 1:15; John 1:19-36)

b) The cleansing of the Temple ( John 2:13-22)

c) Jesus feeds the multitudes and walks on water ( John 6:1-21)

d) Peter"s confession of Jesus as the Son of God ( John 6:68-69)

e) The anointing of Jesus before His Crucifixion ( John 12:1-8)

f) The Passion and Resurrection ( John 18-20)

When comparing the details of these parallel narratives, it becomes clear that there are a number of supposed contradictions in these stories compared to the Synoptic Gospels. For example:

a) John writes of Jesus cleansing the Temple early in His ministry ( John 2:13-22), while the Synoptic Gospels record this event later in His ministry ( Matthew 21:12-16, Mark 11:15-18, Luke 19:45-48).

b) John tells us how Jesus called some of His disciples while in Judea, while the Synoptic Gospels show Jesus calling disciples in Galilee.

These contradictions can easily be explained without thinking that the writers of the Gospels were in error.

C. Comparison of the Judean Ministry in the Gospels- The Synoptic Gospels place most of their emphasis upon the Jesus' public ministry after the imprisonment of John the Baptist ( Matthew 4:12, Mark 1:14, Luke 3:19-21), which ministry took place primarily in Galilee. Thus, John's imprisonment was the beginning of the most active time of Jesus" preaching ministry, though we know from John's Gospel that He has ministered on a smaller scale during His early ministry.

Matthew 4:12, "Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;"

Mark 1:14, "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,"

Luke 3:19-21, "But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip"s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison. Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,"

Matthew tells us that this particular event also marks the beginning of the most active time of Jesus" preaching ministry.

Matthew 4:17, "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Thus, the reason the Synoptic Gospels begin at John"s death is because this is also when Jesus began to preach and to teach publicly.

In contrast, John"s Gospel emphasizes Jesus" activity in Judea and refers to very little of His Galilean ministry. This is because John records the early ministry and miracles of Jesus, while the Synoptic Gospels record Jesus" ministry after the imprisonment of John the Baptist. In fact, John's Gospel is the only one that does not record the imprisonment and death of John the Baptist. Only John begins the story of Jesus at the beginning of His ministry. Another reason that John focuses upon Jesus' Judean ministry and places little emphases upon His work in Galilee is the fact that John wanted to show to his readers the major conflicts that Jesus had with the Jews. For it was in these conflicts that Jesus declared His deity.

VI. Various Themes Emphasized in the Gospel of John

D. Emphasis Upon Jesus' Passion and Resurrection- We know that each of the four Gospels devotes about one third of their story to the passion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. We know that this event was the central and dominant theme of the early preaching by the Church. So naturally it formed the most important events of Jesus' earthly ministry, and thus dominated events recorded in the Gospels.

E. Emphasis Upon The Divinity of Jesus- As a distinction from the other three Gospels, John places more emphasis on Jesus as the Eternal Son of God, the Word made Flesh. His Gospel is a series of testimonies of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. In contrast, Matthew calls Jesus the Son of David, emphasizing the Old Testament Scriptures that testify to Jesus at the coming Messiah. Mark calls Him the Son of God. Luke calls Him the Saviour of the world, placing emphasis on Jesus as the Son of Prayer of Manasseh , who identifies with and experiences the suffering of mankind.

This is why in John"s Gospel, Jesus is immediately recognized as the Messiah, while in the Synoptic Gospels, these confessions come later in His ministry ( Matthew 16:13-20, Mark 8:27-30, Luke 9:18-21). We see early in the Gospel of John testimonies of Jesus as the Messiah: John the Baptist ( John 1:29-36), Andrew ( John 1:41), Philip ( John 1:45), Nathanael ( John 1:49), the Samaritan woman ( John 4:29) and the people of Sychar ( John 4:42).

The discourses of Jesus in John"s Gospel are centered on Jesus" divine Sonship with the Father, while the discourses in Matthew are mainly teachings on the Kingdom of God. That Isaiah , John records the speeches where Jesus declares His divinity and His relationship with the Father, while the other Gospels tell of His parables, His miracles and His debates with the Jews. We see this in the unique "I Am" sayings in the Gospel of John. Thus, John"s discourses tend to use unique terms, such as light, life, love, water, bread, vine, and branches, in explaining divine revelation about Himself using figures of speech ( John 16:25). These words reflect divine themes that are carried throughout the Gospel of John. This type of language and themes are not found in the other three Gospels.

While the Synoptic Gospels give to us examples of many miracles and healings as historical narratives, John picks out seven key miracles as testimonies of His divine nature. Thus, John"s Gospel is more supplemental material, while the other Gospels, which were well known to the Churches when John wrote his Gospel, and they provided most of the historical information of the Messiah that John omitted.

F. Emphasis Upon the Work of the Holy Spirit- The Holy Spirit is revealed much more extensively in John"s Gospel than in the Synoptic Gospels. This may be because John was writing to a different audience, perhaps the Churches of Asia Minor during the period that he was overseeing these churches and living in Ephesus.

a. The Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus at His baptism ( John 1:32)

b. Jesus reveals the work of the Holy Spirit in the rebirth to Nicodemus ( John 3:5)

c. Jesus walks in the full measure of the Spirit ( John 3:34)

d. Jesus teaches us that God is a spirit ( John 4:24)

e. Jesus promises the coming of the Spirit ( John 7:39)

f. The Holy Spirit is Helper, Comforter, Teacher ( John 14:15-17; John 14:26; John 16:7-15)

g. Jesus imparts the Spirit to His disciples ( John 20:22-23)

The work of the Holy Spirit was an important doctrine in these early Gentile churches, thus being emphasized in John"s Gospel.

G. Emphasis Upon the Jewish Feasts- John mentions three distinct Passovers in Jesus" ministry while the Synoptics refer only to the one Passover of Jesus" suffering. As a result, much of Jesus" public ministry recorded in this Gospel took place around the Jewish festivals. In fact, John records one miracle during the period of each of these seven feasts. Scholars have been able to use the references to the three Passovers to suggest that Jesus' earthly ministry spanned approximately three years. Note the mention of three Passovers in John's Gospel:

1. The First Passover- Jesus attended His first Passover after His first three days of ministry. Therefore, the Passover in John 2:13 took place at the beginning of Jesus" ministry. It is at this Passover that Jesus first cleanses the Temple. Note the first Passover:

John 2:13, "And the Jews" passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,"

Two other Passover"s are mentioned during Jesus" ministry. Each of these Passovers is separated by lengthy travels in Jesus" ministry. Therefore, they are distinct Passovers.

2. The Second Passover- Note the reference to the second Passover:

John 6:4, "And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh."

The second Passover is separated from the first one by a trip from Judea into Galilee through Samaria. Note:

John 4:3, "He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee."

Also, the second Passover is separated from the first one by an unidentified Jewish feast, which Jesus did attend, traveling back to Judea from Galilee. Note:

John 5:1, "After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem."

In the second Passover, there is no record of Jesus attending this feast.

3. The Third Passover- Note the reference to the third Passover:

John 11:55, "And the Jews" passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves."

The third Passover is separate from the second one by the Feast of Tabernacles. See:

John 7:2, "Now the Jews" feast of tabernacles was at hand."

Therefore, Jesus" ministry started before the first Passover and ended at the third Passover. This was a period of at least two years and possibly three years, giving us the only indication in Scriptures of the length of Jesus" earthly ministry.

H. Emphasis Upon the Use of the Number "Seven" - One characteristic of the Gospel of John that is similar to his Revelation is the concept of seven events that is used in both writings. The Gospel of John makes a reference to seven feasts. The author carefully selects seven miracles and seven major discourses of the Saviour that clearly reveal His deity. Jesus is called by seven titles in this Gospel and seven other times Jesus declares Himself deity using the "I Am" titles alone. Seven times the Gospel refers to Jesus as the Light of the World. In the passage of His private ministry (12-20), there are seven events where Scriptures are fulfilled. In addition, Jesus is rejected seven times during his public ministry (2-11), but accepted seven times by the Gentiles and the people. Finally, there are seven people who declare Jesus as the Son of God in this book.

John also followed this pattern in his Apocalypse. The book of Revelation speaks to seven churches, seven angels, seven vials, seven plagues, seven kings, seven heads, seven crowns, seven mountains, seven thousand men, seven thunders, seven trumpets, seven eyes, seven spirits, seven horns, seven seals, seven lamps, and seven stars. The word "seven" is used 54times in the book of Revelation.

We find in the Gospel of John that these seven feasts, seven miracles, seven discourses, seven prophecies fulfilled and the seven "I Am" declarations are all woven into the framework of this Gospel. Also woven into this Gospel are seven testimonies of Jesus being rejected by the Jews and accepted by the Gentiles and common people.

When the events in the Gospel of John are compared to the Synoptic Gospel, we see the uniqueness of the material in this Gospel.

Of the seven feasts, six of these are unique to the Gospel of John. Only the final Passover of His death is common to the other Gospels.

Of the seven miracles, five of these are unique to the Gospel of John. Only the feeding of the five thousand and His walking of the water are common to the other Gospels.

Of the seven major discourses, all of them are unique to the Gospel of John.

Of the seven events where John quotes their fulfillment from the Old Testament, six of these are unique to the Gospel of John. Only the fulfillment of His triumphant entry into Jerusalem is common to the other Gospels.

Peter Pett, in his work "The Use of Numbers in the Ancient Near East and In Genesis ," studies the use of numbers in the ancient world by looking at modern-day primitive tribes. When discussing the writings of the ancient Sumerians, he notes the frequent use of the numbers "three" and "seven." He explains that "seven" had come to mean especially completeness in what was divine. Pett notes that when ancient people saw the number "seven" in literature, they did not think as much of quantity in amount as they did the quality of the concept. 75] We see this concept in Hebrew literature with the qualitative plural, which is often used when speaking of God. His name is spelled in the plural and used with a singular verb.

75] Peter Pett, "The Use of Numbers in the Ancient Near East and In Genesis ," [on-line]; accessed on 12August 2010; available at http://www.angelfire.com/ok/bibleteaching/useofnumbers 1.html; Internet.

Note a list of the seven major discourses:

1. The Four-Fold Witness John 5:16-47

2. The Bread from Heaven John 6:22-59

3. The Living Water John 7:1-39

4. The Light of the World John 8:2 to John 9:41

5. The Good Shepherd John 10:1-39

6. The Way, Truth, and Life John 13:31 to John 14:31

7. The True Vine John 15:1 to John 16:33

Note a list of the seven feasts:

1. Wedding Feast John 2:1

2. First Passover John 2:13

3. Feast at Jerusalem John 5:1

4. Second Passover John 6:4

5. Feast of Tabernacles John 7:2

6. Feast of Dedication John 10:22

7. Third Passover John 12:1

Note a list of the seven miracles, each being found during one of the seven feasts:

1. The Miracle at Cana John 2:1-12

2. Healing of Nobleman's Son John 4:46-54

3. Healing at Pool of Bethesda John 5:1-15

4. Feeding of the Five Thousand John 6:1-14

5. Healing of a Blind Man John 9:1-34

6. Raising Lazarus from the Dead John 11:38-44

7. The Resurrection from the Dead John 20:1-29

The eighth miracle of the miraculous catch of fishes found in John 21:1-14 is not found in the section that testifies of Jesus' works, but is rather a part of Jesus' call to follow Him in the final chapter of the book.

Note a list of seven Old Testament Scriptures being fulfilled:

1. His Triumphant Entry John 12:12-18

2. His Rejection by Jews John 12:37-41

3. His Betrayal prophesied John 13:18-20

4. Hatred from the World John 15:18-27

5. Lots for His Garment John 19:23-24

6. No bones broken John 19:31-36

7. His side pierced John 19:37

Note a list of the seven "I Am's" that Jesus declares about Himself:

1. I Am the Bread of Life John 6:35

2. I Am the Light of the World John 9:5

3. I Am the Door John 10:7

4. I Am the Good Shepherd John 10:11

5. I Am the Resurrection and the Life John 11:25

6. I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life John 14:6

7. I Am the True Vine John 15:1

Note a list of the seven "I Am's" without a subject to the title:

1. John 4:26

2. John 6:20

3. John 8:24

4. John 8:28

5. John 8:58

6. John 13:19

7. John 18:5; John 18:8

Note a list of seven titles given to Jesus:

1. The Word of God

2. The Only Begotten Son

3. The Lamb of God

4. Rabbi

5. Master and Lord

6. Christ, the Son of God

7. King of the Jews

Note a list of the Scriptures regarding Jesus as the Light of the World:

1. John 1:4-9

2. John 3:19-21

3. John 8:12

4. John 9:5

5. John 11:9-10

6. John 12:35-36

7. John 12:46

Note a list of seven people in John's Gospel who declare Jesus as the Son of God:

1. John the Baptist John 1:34

2. Nathanael John 1:49

3. Peter John 6:69

4. The man born blind John 9:35-38

5. Martha John 11:27

6. Thomas John 20:28

7. John the Apostle John 20:31

Note a list of the seven rejections by the Jews:

1. Jesus did not commit Himself John 2:23-25

2. Jesus Rejected by His Own John 4:43-45

3. Jesus' Rejection by the Jews John 5:16-18

4. Jesus' Rejection by all

Jesus' Rejection by the Jews John 6:41-59

Jesus' Rejection by His Disciples John 6:60-71

Jesus' Rejection by His Family John 7:1-9

Jesus' Rejection by Jewish Leaders John 7:10 to John 8:1

5. Jesus' Rejection by the Jews John 8:48-59

6. Jesus' Rejection by the Jews John 10:31-39

7. Jesus' Rejection by the Jews John 11:45-57

Note a list of seven times where the Gentiles and the people accept Jesus:

1. The Acceptance by John's Disciples John 1:35-51

2. Jesus accepted by the Samaritans John 4:1-42

3. Healing of Nobleman's Son in Galilee John 4:43-54

4. Jesus' Acceptance by the Sinners John 8:2-11

5. Jesus' Acceptance by the People John 10:40-42

6. Acceptance by the people John 12:1-11

7. Acceptance by Gentiles John 12:20-22

VII. External Influences Upon the Gospel of John

I. External Influences: Hellenistic Overtone- The Gospel of John has a Hellenistic overtone, unlike the Synoptic Gospels.

1. The "Jews" Portrayed as Adversaries- For example, the term "Jews" is used much more frequently in John"s Gospel than in the Synoptic Gospels. John appears to reveal the Jews much more clearly as adversaries of Gospel than do the Synoptics. This may be because John was writing to a different audience, perhaps the Churches of Asia Minor during the period that he was overseeing these churches and living in Ephesus.

We also see this anti-Jewish view in John"s other writings. In his Apocalypse John calls the Jewish synagogues of Asia Minor "the synagogues of Satan". Note:

Revelation 2:9, "I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan."

Revelation 3:9, "Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee."

2. Explanation of Jewish Customs- A second example of Hellenistic overtones is the fact that John"s Gospel takes the time to reflect upon and explain Jewish customs ( John 2:20-21; John 2:23-25; John 4:1-2; John 7:37-39; John 11:12-13; John 11:49-52; John 21:18-19; John 21:22-23), as if the reader is not familiar with Jewish traditions nor the land of Palestine. In contract, the Synoptic Gospels remain strictly narrative, giving little or no attention to explanations. This was because John"s initial recipients were primarily Gentile Christians.

VIII. Grammar and Syntax

J. Grammar and Syntax: Limited Vocabulary - Of all the Gospels, John uses the most limited vocabulary while making the most profound statements of any of the Evangelists. His sentences are simple and uncomplicated, in contract to some Pauline epistles. He often repeats key words that he believes are of importance to the theme, such as "Word, life, light, truth, love, glory, testimony, name, sign, work, to know, to behold, to believe." He avoids abstract words and chooses concrete terminology. Yet, the depth of many of these words is beyond our mortal grasp, only to be understood through spiritual discernment.

For example, John does not even use the noun "faith," which is often used in the Synoptic Gospels and in Pauline literature. In its place, Schaff says, "…he uses the verb ‘to believe' ( πιστεύειν) ninety-eight times, about twice as often as all three Synoptists together." 76]

76] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 700.

Another example is seen in the word "verily." Only John's Gospels uses the double "verily, verily," a phrase found twenty-five times in his Gospel.

K. Grammar and Syntax: Hebrew Parallelisms - John wrote his Gospel using the Greek language, yet it is thoroughly Hebrew it style. This is reflected in it simple vocabulary and sentence structure, in its imagery and symbolism, and in Hebrew parallelism. John's Gospel is filled with Hebrew parallelisms, found normally in Hebrew poetry. The first chapter of John is written almost entirely in poetic Hebrew parallelisms. Note:

John 1:3, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."

John 1:5, "And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not."

John 1:8-12, "He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"

John 1:20, "And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ."

John 10:28, "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."

John 13:16, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him."

John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

John 15:20, "Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also."

THEOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK

"Scholarly excellence requires a proper theological framework."

(Andreas Ksenberger) 77]

77] Andreas J. Ksenberger, Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2011), 161.

Based upon the historical setting and literary style of the Gospel of John , an examination of the purpose, thematic scheme, and literary structure to this book of the Holy Scriptures will reveal its theological framework. This introductory section will sum up its theological framework in the form of an outline, which is then used to identify smaller units or pericopes within the Gospel of John for preaching and teaching passages of Scripture while following the overriding message of the book. Following this outline allows the minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to take his followers on a spiritual journey that brings them to the same destination that the author intended his readers to reach.

IX. Purpose

The Gospels and Acts served a number of purposes for the early Church. They were written primarily to establish and defend the foundational doctrines of the New Testament Church; thus, there was a doctrinal and apologetic purpose. However, the authors chose to frame their work within a historical biography of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, and each Gospel writer selected historical material that emphasized his own particular didactic purpose. Finally, the Gospels and Acts served a practical and kerygmatic purpose in calling the reader to believe in Jesus Christ and to proclaim the Gospel to the nations.

A. Doctrinal and Apologetic: To Establish and Defend the Foundational Doctrines of the New Testament Church - The primary purpose of the Gospels was to establish and defend the claim that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, which was the foundational doctrine of the New Testament Church. Andreas Kostenberger says, "John's overarching purpose is the demonstration that the Christ, the Son of God, is Jesus ( John 20:30-31) by weaving together several narrative strands." 78]

78] Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 9.

The Doctrinal and Apologetic Purpose of the Gospel of John - Any internal evidence as to the purpose of John's Gospel will rely upon its major theme, which declares the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. This implies that there was a great need in the Church of the late first century to defend the teachings of His divinity as well as His humanity. Thus, it is impossible to separate the emphasis in the Gospel of John between its doctrinal and apologetic purpose.

In 2001 I had a dream where I saw the Gospel of John as "Jesus' Bible"; in other words, John's Gospel in particular was Jesus" testimony of Himself. If Jesus could write His autobiography of who He really Isaiah , He would write the Gospel of John. This is because John"s Gospel gives the spiritual genealogy of Jesus. As Genesis 1-2gives the genealogy of the heavens and the earth, this Gospel is the book of Jesus" divine genealogy. It reveals Jesus as God being manifested in the flesh. In fact, Clement of Alexandria calls John"s Gospel "a spiritual gospel," 79] perhaps meaning that John sought to reveal the divine character of Jesus in his Gospel.

79] Eusebius cites Clement of Alexandria, who writes, "But, last of all, John , perceiving that the external facts had been made plain in the Gospel, being urged by his friends, and inspired by the Spirit, composed a spiritual Gospel. This is the account of Clement." (Ecclesiastical History 6147)

The Gospel of John's doctrinal emphasis was the deity of Jesus Christ; but John's doctrinal message was packaged as an apologetic work as well. He wrote his Gospel to solidify the message of the divinity of Jesus Christ to the churches of Asia Minor. John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople, tells us that John wrote to reveal "the doctrines of the Godhead," which had fallen into "silence."

"But as to John , he hath himself kept silence touching the cause; yet, (as a tradition saith, which hath come down to us from the first, even from the Fathers,) neither did he come to write without purpose; but forasmuch as it had been the care of the three to dwell upon the account of the dispensation, and the doctrines of the Godhead were near being left in silence, Hebrews , moved by Christ, then and not till then set himself to compose his Gospel. And this is manifest both from the history itself, and from the opening of his Gospel. For he doth not begin like the rest from beneath, but from above, from the same point, at which he was aiming, and it was with a view to this that he composed the whole book. And not in the beginning only, but throughout all the Gospel, he is more lofty than the rest." (Homilies on the Gospel According to St. Matthew 1:7)

We know that heresies were circulating among the churches during this period of early Church history. John refers to several of these heresies in Revelation 2-3. Eusebius refers to other heresies that apparently confronted John the apostle, who was set over the churches of Asia Minor to protect them from such wiles of Satan (Ecclesiastical History 326-29). The early Church fathers continued to address numerous heresies that emerged during the early centuries of the Church.

John Gill comments on John's apologetic emphasis, saying, "The occasion of it [the Gospel of John] is generally thought to be the errors of Ebion and Cerinthus, who denied the divinity of Christ, asserted he was a mere Prayer of Manasseh , and that he did not exist before his incarnation; and the design of it [the Gospel of John] is to confute them:" 80]

80] John Gill, John , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), "Introduction."

Matthew Poole says that the heresies of Ebion and Cerinthus, who denied Christ's Divinity, and of the Nicolaitanes, who held many absurd things about his person, gave occasion to the writing of this Gospel. 81] John mentions the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes in Revelation 2:6, and he was very likely referring to the heresies of Ebion and Cerinthus when he refers to the antichrists in his Epistles.

81] Matthew Poole, The Gospel According to S. John , in Annotations Upon the Holy Bible, vol 3 (New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1852), 277.

Eusebius tells us that the heresies of the Ebionites either denied the deity and virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ or they did not believe that He existed before His birth.

"The evil demon, however, being unable to tear certain others from their allegiance to the Christ of God, yet found them susceptible in a different direction, and so brought them over to his own purposes. The ancients quite properly called these men Ebionites, because they held poor and mean opinions concerning Christ. For they considered him a plain and common Prayer of Manasseh , who was justified only because of his superior virtue, and who was the fruit of the intercourse of a man with Mary. In their opinion the observance of the ceremonial law was altogether necessary, on the ground that they could not be saved by faith in Christ alone and by a corresponding life. There were others, however, besides them, that were of the same name, but avoided the strange and absurd beliefs of the former, and did not deny that the Lord was born of a virgin and of the Holy Spirit. But nevertheless, inasmuch as they also refused to acknowledge that he pre-existed, being God, Word, and Wisdom of Solomon , they turned aside into the impiety of the former, especially when they, like them, endeavored to observe strictly the bodily worship of the law." (Ecclesiastical History 3271-3)

Eusebius tells us that the doctrine of Cerinthus taught of an earthly kingdom full of sensual pleasures, rather than a heavenly kingdom.

"We have understood that at this time Cerinthus, the author of another heresy, made his appearance. Caius, whose words we quoted above, in the Disputation which is ascribed to him, writes as follows concerning this man: ‘But Cerinthus also, by means of revelations which he pretends were written by a great apostle, brings before us marvelous things which he falsely claims were shown him by angels; and he says that after the resurrection the kingdom of Christ will be set up on earth, and that the flesh dwelling in Jerusalem will again be subject to desires and pleasures. And being an enemy of the Scriptures of God, he asserts, with the purpose of deceiving men, that there is to be a period of a thousand years for marriage festivals.' And Dionysius, who was bishop of the parish of Alexandria in our day, in the second book of his work On the Promises, where he says some things concerning the Apocalypse of John which he draws from tradition, mentions this same man in the following words: ‘But (they say that) Cerinthus, who founded the sect which was called, after him, the Cerinthian, desiring reputable authority for his fiction, prefixed the name. For the doctrine which he taught was this: that the kingdom of Christ will be an earthly one. And as he was himself devoted to the pleasures of the body and altogether sensual in his nature, he dreamed that that kingdom would consist in those things which he desired, namely, in the delights of the belly and of sexual passion, that is to say, in eating and drinking and marrying, and in festivals and sacrifices and the slaying of victims, under the guise of which he thought he could indulge his appetites with a better grace.' These are the words of Dionysius." (Ecclesiastical History 3281-6)

Eusebius tells us that Nicolaus, the founder of the sect of the Nicolaitans that is referred to in Revelation 2:6; Revelation 2:15 as heresy, used his beautiful wife to entice believers to commit fornication.

"At this time the Song of Solomon -called sect of the Nicolaitans made its appearance and lasted for a very short time. Mention is made of it in the Apocalypse of John. They boasted that the author of their sect was Nicolaus, one of the deacons who, with Stephen, were appointed by the apostles for the purpose of ministering to the poor. Clement of Alexandria, in the third book of his Stromata, relates the following things concerning him. "They say that he had a beautiful wife, and after the ascension of the Saviour, being accused by the apostles of jealousy, he led her into their midst and gave permission to any one that wished to marry her. For they say that this was in accord with that saying of his, that one ought to abuse the flesh. And those that have followed his heresy, imitating blindly and foolishly that which was done and said, commit fornication without shame. But I understand that Nicolaus had to do with no other woman than her to whom he was married, and that, so far as his children are concerned, his daughters continued in a state of virginity until old age, and his son remained uncorrupt. If this is Song of Solomon , when he brought his wife, whom he jealously loved, into the midst of the apostles, he was evidently renouncing his passion; and when he used the expression, "to abuse the flesh," he was inculcating self-control in the face of those pleasures that are eagerly pursued. For I suppose that, in accordance with the command of the Saviour, he did not wish to serve two masters, pleasure and the Lord. But they say that Matthias also taught in the same manner that we ought to fight against and abuse the flesh, and not give way to it for the sake of pleasure, but strengthen the soul by faith and knowledge." So much concerning those who then attempted to pervert the truth, but in less time than it has taken to tell it became entirely extinct." (Ecclesiastical History 3291-4)

Therefore, John"s Gospel has become a collection of testimonies as to the eternal work that Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross that was be used by these churches in confirming their faith in Jesus Christ as the Eternal Son of God. Thus, it carries a doctrinal message within this apologetic work.

Conclusion- This doctrinal and apologetic purpose of the Gospel of John reflects the foundational theme of the Gospels claiming that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

B. Historical and Didactic: To Record the Testimonies from the Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ that Prove He was the Son of God - The Historical-Didactic Nature of the Gospels- While the early Church used the Gospels to defend the testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the authors of the Gospels chose to present this testimony within a historical biography of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the writings of the four Gospels, the characteristic of selecting particular narrative material is clearly seen. They all have the common thread as a biography of the record of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, each Gospel arranges these events in a way that teaches us a particular lesson. For example, the Gospel of Matthew emphasizes the fact that Jesus Christ fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament Scriptures. He arranges his Gospel in a format that presents Jesus as the coming King, who delivers the laws of the kingdom of heaven to His people, how He performs the work of the kingdom, how man responds to this ministry, how to handle offences and persecution, and the departure of the King. Matthew's Gospel is packaged with the message of the coming King being woven within the major theme that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Messiah. Matthew closes his Gospel with the message of Jesus giving the commission to His disciples to teach all nations the laws of the kingdom of heaven. The Gospel of Mark also tells us of the events in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, Mark's intent is to testify that Jesus Christ was the Son of God because of His many miracles that accompanied His preaching. Mark presents his material by following the outline of Peter's proclamation of the Gospel message to Cornelius in Acts 10:34-43. His Gospel shows John the Baptist's commission and proclamation, then shows Jesus' commission and preaching ministry, first in Galilee, then the regions round about. Jesus then made His way to Judea and into Jerusalem to face the Cross. Mark closes his Gospel with a commission to the disciples to preach the Gospel with these same signs and miracles following. The Gospel of Luke serves to give testimony from men. It gives the most extensive story on the birth, life and testimony of John the Baptist. It also gives the testimonies of many others, such as Zacharias, Elisabeth, Mary, Simeon, and Anna. Thus, Luke tells us the life of our Lord Jesus Christ in a format of testimonies that were compiled by those who were eyewitnesses of our Lord and Saviour. The Gospel of John emphasizes the events in the life of Christ that confirm His deity. John weaves within his Gospel seven divine names that Jesus declares about Himself, seven miracles that show His deity, seven Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus fulfilled. John closes His Gospel with Jesus calling His disciples to follow Him. Thus, we see in the book of Acts that it is not just a chronology of the history of the early church. Rather, Luke selected particular people and events in order to reveal most accurately the situations that Christians lived in during this part of history. The book of Acts is then able to explain why the Holy Spirit was able to move so mightily in the hearts and lives of certain men. The book of Acts becomes more than a history book. It provides a moral foundation for the establishment of the doctrines of the New Testament church in the midst of persecution from all established religions. It provides a defense for the preaching of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as well as defending the ethics of these Christians who were accused by their adversaries of committing evil atrocities. Finally, an additional theme can be found woven within all four Gospels and Acts , which is the lesson that persecutions always accompany those who choose to follow Christ. Thus, we see that these five books not only give us a biography of the life of Christ and of a history of the early Church, but they each weave within their collections of events a unique theme and a lesson to be learned.

The Historical and Didactic Purpose of the Gospel of John - Eusebius gives a very detailed account of the reason why John wrote his Gospel after the other three Gospels were written and widespread, saying that John was familiar with the other three Gospels, but he was compelled by his friends to write a record of the earliest miracles of our Lord, which had not been recorded in the other three Gospels. Note:

"And when Mark and Luke had already published their Gospels, they say that John , who had employed all his time in proclaiming the Gospel orally, finally proceeded to write for the following reason. The three Gospels already mentioned having come into the hands of all and into his own too, they say that he accepted them and bore witness to their truthfulness; but that there was lacking in them an account of the deeds done by Christ at the beginning of his ministry. And this indeed is true. For it is evident that the three evangelists recorded only the deeds done by the Saviour for one year after the imprisonment of John the Baptist, and indicated this in the beginning of their account. For Matthew , after the forty days" fast and the temptation which followed it, indicates the chronology of his work when he says: ‘Now when he heard that John was delivered up he withdrew from Judea into Galilee.' Mark likewise says: ‘Now after that John was delivered up Jesus came into Galilee.' And Luke , before commencing his account of the deeds of Jesus, similarly marks the time, when he says that Herod, ‘adding to all the evil deeds which he had done, shut up John in prison.' They say, therefore, that the apostle John , being asked to do it for this reason, gave in his Gospel an account of the period which had been omitted by the earlier evangelists, and of the deeds done by the Saviour during that period; that Isaiah , of those which were done before the imprisonment of the Baptist. And this is indicated by him, they say, in the following words: ‘This beginning of miracles did Jesus'; and again when he refers to the Baptist, in the midst of the deeds of Jesus, as still baptizing in Anon near Salim; where he states the matter clearly in the words: ‘For John was not yet cast into prison.' John accordingly, in his Gospel, records the deeds of Christ which were performed before the Baptist was cast into prison, but the other three evangelists mention the events which happened after that time. One who understands this can no longer think that the Gospels are at variance with one another, inasmuch as the Gospel according to John contains the first acts of Christ, while the others give an account of the latter part of his life. And the genealogy of our Saviour according to the flesh John quite naturally omitted, because it had been already given by Matthew and Luke , and began with the doctrine of his divinity, which had, as it were, been reserved for him, as their superior, by the divine Spirit. These things may suffice, which we have said concerning the Gospel of John." (Ecclesiastical History 3246-14)

Conclusion- The historical and didactic purpose of the Gospel of John reflects the secondary theme, which is the 5-fold testimony that gives structure to this Gospel proving Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Although the doctrinal and apologetic purpose are primary, they are less apparent than the historical and didactic purpose because the historical material the heavier weight of content within the Gospel. Thus, Andreas Kostenberger says, "John's overarching purpose is the demonstration that the Christ, the Son of God, is Jesus ( John 20:30-31) by weaving together several narrative strands." 82] These "narrative strands" structured as a 5-fold testimony provide the secondary historical and didactic purpose of the Gospel, which supports primary purpose of declaring Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

82] Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 9.

C. Practical and Kerygmatic: To Proclaim the Gospel through the Office of the Pastor- The Gospel of John serves a practical purpose as the readers are called to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ as the Son of God in faith and obedience to Him. The book of Acts reveals that the early disciples of the Church "continued stedfastly in the apostles" doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." ( Acts 2:42) Alongside this practical application, the Gospels serve a kerygmatic purpose. The book of Acts reveals that these early believers were scattered abroad beginning with the persecutions in Jerusalem and "went everywhere preaching the word." ( Acts 8:1-4) In addition, the commissions of Jesus Christ at the close of each of the Gospels call believers to go forth and proclaim the Gospel to the nations. The commission in the Gospel of John ( John 21:15-21) commands believers to proclaim the Gospel by shepherding God's children, which reflects the office of the pastor.

Conclusion- The practical and kerygmatic purpose of the Gospel of John reflects the third, imperative theme, which is a call to faith and obedience to Jesus Christ from the testimony of God the Father, eye-witnesses, the miracles, and the Old Testament Scriptures, claiming that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. This third purpose is clearly seen within sermons using the text of the Gospels as the preacher calls believers to apply the teachings of Jesus Christ to their daily lives.

D. Conclusion of Three-fold Purpose of the Gospels and Acts - Having identified three purposes to the Gospels and Acts , it is logical to conclude that there are three themes embedded within these writings, with each theme supporting a particular purpose. Therefore, the three-fold thematic schemes of these books will be discussed next.

X. Thematic Scheme

Introduction- Each book of the Holy Scriptures contains a three-fold thematic scheme in order to fulfill its intended purpose, which is to transform each child of God into the image of Jesus Christ ( Romans 8:29). The primary, or foundational, theme of a book offers a central claim that undergirds everything written by the author. The secondary, or structural theme, of the book supports its primary theme by offering reasons and evidence for the central "claim" made by the author as it fully develops the first theme. Thus, the secondary theme is more easily recognized by biblical scholars than the other two themes because they provide the literary content of the book as they navigate the reader through the arguments embedded within the biblical text, thus revealing themselves more clearly. 83] The third theme is imperative in that it calls the reader to a response based upon the central claim and supporting evidence offered by the author. Each child of God has been predestined to be conformed into the image and likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Scriptures, and they alone, have the power to accomplish this task. This is why a child of God can read the Holy Scriptures with a pure heart and experience a daily transformation taking place in his life, although he may not fully understand what is taking place in his life. In addition, the reason some children of God often do not see these biblical themes is because they have not fully yielded their lives to Jesus Christ, allowing transformation to take place by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Without a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, a child of God is not willing to allow Him to manage his life and move him down the road that God predestined as his spiritual journey. This journey requires every participant to take up his cross daily and follow Jesus, and not every believer is willing to do this. In fact, every child of God chooses how far down this road of sacrifice he is willing to go. Very few of men and women of God fulfill their divine destinies by completing this difficult journey. In summary, the first theme drives the second theme, which develops the first theme, and together they demand the third theme, which is the reader's response.

83] For an excellent discussion on the use of claims, reasons, and evidence in literature, see Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, The Craft of Research (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2003).

Thre Three-fold Thematic Scheme of the Gospel of John - There are three major themes woven throughout the framework of the Gospel of John. The primary theme serves as a foundation, while the secondary theme builds it structure upon this foundation, and the third theme gives support to this entire work. These three fit together in much the same way that a house is built.

The primary theme is the declaration that Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God. We see this theme being declared in the opening passage ( John 1:1-18) as well as in the closing passages ( John 20:30-31; John 21:24-25).

John 20:30-31, "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."

John 21:24-25, "This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."

This theme serves as a foundation upon which the other two themes of John's Gospel are built. The secondary theme states that all possible witnesses confirm that Jesus is truly God manifested in the flesh. Therefore, John's Gospel is a collection of testimonies as evidence to this fact. The testimony of the Father ( John 1:1-18), John the Baptist and his disciples ( John 1:19-51), the testimony of His miracles ( John 2:1 to John 12:11), the testimony of Scripture ( John 12:12 to John 20:31), and the testimony of Jesus Christ Himself ( John 21:1-25) together declare the message that Jesus has come from God the Father. This secondary theme serves as the framework of the Gospel. Thus, the Gospel of John can be outlined upon this framework.

The third theme is a responsive, imperative theme stating that all those who follow Him will suffer persecution as their Saviour suffered, for this is the message of the Cross, which gives muscle, or power, to the proclamation of Jesus Christ. For the Gospel of John , the life of sacrifice and Christ-likeness is seen in the office and ministry of the Pastor. In John's Gospel the crucified life is seen in our obedience to Jesus' final commission to Peter the apostle to feed His sheep. This work best reflects the office and ministry of the pastor in the five-fold ministry.

Thus, we see the concept of how the early apostles saw themselves as building a house that is founded upon the Lord Jesus Christ, whose house are we ( 1 Corinthians 3:10-11). The apostles took this concept of building a house from the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ ( Matthew 16:18).

1 Corinthians 3:10-11, "According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

Matthew 16:18, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

Note a further explanation of the three-fold structure to the Gospel of John:

A. The Primary Theme of the Gospels and Acts (Foundational): The Claim that Jesus Christ is the Son of God - The Gospels and Acts share the primary theme presenting the claim that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Each of the Gospels offers unique supporting evidence to this central claim. This emphasis continues through the book of Acts , where the office and ministry of the Holy Spirit also begins to merge with the Gospel theme, making a theme transitional from regeneration to sanctification.

1. The Primary Theme of the Holy Scriptures- The central theme of the Holy Bible is God's plan of redemption for mankind. This theme finds its central focus in the Cross, where our Lord and Saviour died to redeem mankind. The central figure of the Holy Scriptures is the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, the Cross is the place where man meets God and where we die to our selfish ambitions and yield our lives to the God who created all things. Therefore, the Holy Scriptures are not intended to be a precise record of ancient history. Rather, its intent is to provide a record of God's divine intervention in the history of mankind in order to redeem the world back to Himself through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary.

Every book of the Holy Bible makes a central claim that undergirds the arguments or message contained within its text. For example, the central claim of the Pentateuch is found in Deuteronomy 6:4, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD," to which all additional material is subordinate. The bulk of the material in the Old Testament is subordinate in that it serves as reasons and evidence to support this central claim. This material serves as the secondary theme, offering the literary structure of the book. In addition, the central claim calls for a response, which is stated in the following verse, "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." ( Deuteronomy 6:5) Such a response is considered the third, imperative theme that runs through every book of the Holy Scriptures. This central claim is the primary, or foundational, theme and is often obscured by the weight of evidence that is used to drive the central message, which weight of evidence makes up the secondary theme; and thus, it contains more content than the primary theme. Therefore, the secondary themes of the books of the Holy Scripture are generally more recognizable than the primary theme. Nevertheless, the central claim, or truth, must be excavated down to the foundation and made clearly visible in order to understand the central theme driving the arguments contained within the book. Only then can proper exegesis and sermon delivery be executed.

2. Why Four Gospels? - The New Testament opens with the four Gospels and the book of Acts. The Gospels of Matthew ,, Mark ,, Luke , and John , and the book of Acts serve primarily as testimonies, or witnesses, of the deity of Lord Jesus Christ. 84] God could have included dozens of Gospels into the Holy Bible, but He only chose four. Why is this so? One reason is that a matter, or truth, is confirmed in the mouth of two or three witnesses ( 2 Corinthians 13:1). Two or three Gospels were enough to establish the validity of Jesus' ministry. Skeptics would not believe in the Savior even if there were dozens of Gospels. In essence, there was no need for additional Gospels. The question arises as to why there are four Gospels, and not three or five records of Jesus' life and ministry. The answer can be found clearly in the witnesses that Jesus lists of Himself in John 5:1-47. In this passage of Scripture Jesus tells us there are four witnesses to His Deity beside Himself: the testimonies of the Father ( John 5:19-30), of John the Baptist ( John 5:31-35), of the works of Jesus ( John 5:36-38), and of the Old Testament Scriptures ( John 5:39-47). The structure of the Gospel of John is built around these four witnesses. The Synoptic Gospels emphasis one of these particular witnesses: Matthew emphasizes the testimony of the Scriptures; Mark emphasizes the testimony of Jesus' works and miracles; Luke emphasizes the testimony of John the Baptist and other eye-witnesses; John emphasizes primarily the witness of the God the Father. Although each of the four Gospels emphasizes one particular witness, the testimonies of the other three witnesses are also found in each Gospel.

84] Ernest Burton expresses a distinction between the primary and secondary themes of the Gospels, saying, "To us today the highest value of our gospels is in the testimony they bring us concerning the deeds, words, and character of our Lord Jesus. The ideas and purpose of the author, and even his personal identity, are to us matters of secondary consideration." See Ernest De Witt Burton, "The Purpose and Plan of the Gospel of Matthew ," in The Biblical World 111 (January 1898): 37.

2 Corinthians 13:1, "This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."

The four Gospels and the book of Acts reveal man's need for salvation, or the redemptive plan of regeneration, through faith in Jesus Christ, as He shed His blood on Calvary and made a way for man to be restored back into fellowship with the Heavenly Father through faith and obedience to His Word. Man's response to this claim results in his salvation, or regeneration, so that he becomes a child of God, which serves as the third, imperative, theme of the Gospels and Acts.

3. The Primary Theme of the Gospel of John - The primary theme of the Gospel of John claims that Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God, while the third imperative theme discussed below calls us to accept Him our Lord and Savior because of His divinity. 85] Thus, John records for us those events in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ that clearly reveal and manifest His glory.

85] Isaac Williams writes, "The Divinity, indeed, of our Lord being generally acknowledged as the pervading theme of this Gospel…" See Isaac Williams, Thoughts on the Study of the Holy Gospels, in Devotional Commentary on the Gospel Narrative, vol 1 (London: Rivingtons, 1882), 82.

For example, the phrase "Kingdom of God" and "Kingdom of Heaven," which occurs so frequently in the Synoptics, is entirely missing from John's Gospel, except in Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus ( John 3:3; John 3:5) and one other reference ( John 18:36). This is because the discourses of Jesus center around His divine relationship with the Father rather than His establishment of a heavenly kingdom. The discourses of Jesus, so prominent in the Gospel of John , declare the divine character of Jesus Christ as proceeding from the Father, in contrast to the message of the Kingdom of Heaven as seen in the Gospel of Matthew.

John's Gospel was written last of all the Gospels, near the end of the first century, about fifty years after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. We see in John's epistles that a great defense of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ was needed in order to overcome growing heresies. John's Gospel preaches the godhead of the Lord Jesus Christ as its dominant theme, thus reflecting the message for this period of the early church.

In addition, the Gospel of John also places more emphasis upon the testimony of the God the Father than the Synoptic Gospels. 86] Jesus makes a reference to His intimate relationship with His heavenly Father throughout the Gospel. The testimony of the Father will be discussed in the section about John's secondary theme of the five-fold witness.

86] Andreas Köstenberger says, "John's favorite expression for God in his Gospel is ‘Father'." See Andreas J. Kösterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 28.

Woven into the Gospel of John is a collection of divine names for the Lord Jesus Christ that declare Him as the Son of God. Each of these names reveals an aspect of the His divine character and ministry. Thus, the author uses the divine names of Jesus Christ to carry the theme that all five witnesses declare His deity. As Origen states, these names declare the Godhead of the Lord Jesus Christ:

"For none of these plainly declared His Godhead, as John does when he makes Him say, ‘I am the light of the world,' ‘I am the way and the truth and the life,' ‘I am the resurrection,' ‘I am the door,' ‘I am the good shepherd;' and in the Apocalypse, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.'" (Origen"s Commentary on the Gospel of John 1:6)

Perhaps the greatest revelations of Jesus' divine character are revealed in the great "I Am" declarations. There are seven different names revealed in John's Gospel using the phrase "I Am." 87] Jesus openly declares His deity when He makes these declarations.

87] Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 14-15.

a) I Am the Bread of Life- In chapter 6, Jesus declares Himself as the Bread of Life to a people who were hungry for more bread ( John 6:26). It was also the time of the Feast of the Passover ( John 6:4), when the Jews understood the meaning of eating the Passover lamb. Thus, Jesus spoke of Himself as the Living Bread.

John 6:35, "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."

John 6:41, "The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven."

John 6:48-51, "I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

His body is the bread and the wine:

John 6:53-56, "Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Prayer of Manasseh , and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him."

Matthew 26:26-28, "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."

b) I Am the Light of the World- The concept of Jesus being the Light of the World is woven throughout the Gospel of John. Seven times Jesus declares Himself to be the Light in John's Gospel. In each of these seven passages that make a reference to Light, there is a contrast made to the darkness of men's hearts.

John 1:4-9, "In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."

John 3:19-21, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."

John 5:35, "He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light."

John 8:12, "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

John 9:5, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

John 11:9-10, "Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him."

John 12:35-36, "Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them."

John 12:46, "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness."

In chapter 8 Jesus is in the Temple teaching the Word of God. There, the scribes and the Pharisees tempt Jesus to break the Law of Moses. Therefore, Jesus declares Himself as the Light of the World ( John 8:12), which is figurative for having understanding in God"s Word, according to John 7:31-32.

John 8:12, "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

John 9:5, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

c) I Am the Door

John 10:7, "Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep."

John 10:9-10, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

d) I Am the Good Shepherd

John 10:11, "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."

John 10:14, "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine."

e) I Am the Resurrection and the Life- When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He reveals Himself as the Resurrection and the Life.

John 11:25-26, "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?"

f) I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life

John 14:6, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

g) I Am the True Vine

John 15:1, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman."

John 15:5, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

In addition, there are seven times when Jesus declares Himself as "I Am" ( εγώ ειμί) without a subject to this divine title:

a) John 4:26, "Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he."

b) John 6:20, "But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid."

c) John 8:24, "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins."

d) John 8:28, "Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of Prayer of Manasseh , then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things."

e) John 8:58, "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am."

f) John 13:19, "Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he."

g) John 18:5, "They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them."

John 18:8, "Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:"

iIn comparison, the book of Revelation contains three declarations of Jesus as the "I Am."

a) The Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last:

Revelation 1:8, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which Isaiah , and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."

Revelation 1:11, "Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea."

Revelation 1:17, "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:"

Revelation 21:6, "And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely."

Revelation 22:13, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last."

b) He that liveth, and was dead:

Revelation 1:18, "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."

c) I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star:

Revelation 22:16, "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star."

In addition to the "I Am" statements in Johannine literature, we can find at least seven names given to Jesus by people within the Gospel of John.

a) The Word of God (John the apostle as author of the Gospel)

John 1:1-3, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."

John 1:14, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

b) The Only Begotten Son (John the apostle as author of the Gospel)

John 1:14, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

John 1:18, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."

John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

John 3:18, "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

c) The Lamb of God (John the Baptist)

John 1:29, "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

d) Rabbi (the people)

John 1:38, "Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?"

e) Lord and Master (the people)

John 13:13, "Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am."

John 13:14, "If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another"s feet."

f) Christ, the Son of God (the Twelve)

John 6:69, "And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God."

John 11:27, "She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world."

g) The King of the Jews (Pilate)

John 18:37, "Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice."

John 19:21, "Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews."

Jesus also reveals Himself as:

a) The Living Water- To a thirsty woman at the well, Jesus revealed Himself as a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

John 4:14, "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

In chapter 7, Jesus declares Himself as the source of Living Water during the Feast of Tabernacles ( John 7:2), which feast represented a remembrance of the wandering in the wilderness. During the wilderness journey, the rock that followed them became Israel"s source of water. Thus, Jesus refers to Himself as the Living Water.

John 7:37-39, "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)"

b) The Son of God

John 10:36, "Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?"

c) The Son of Man

John 13:31, "Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him."

B. Secondary Theme (Structural): The Five-Fold Witness of Jesus - Introduction- The secondary themes of the books of the Holy Scriptures support the primary themes by offering reasons and evidence for the central "claim" of the book made by the author. Thus, the secondary themes are more easily recognized by biblical scholars than the other two themes because they provide the literary structure of the book as they navigate the reader through the arguments embedded within the biblical text, thus revealing themselves more clearly. For example, the central claim of the Pentateuch declares that the Lord God of Israel is the only God that man should serve, and man is to love the Lord God with all of his heart, mind, and strength, a statement found in the Shema of Deuteronomy 6:4-5, which is the foundational theme of the Old Testament. The books of Hebrew poetry provide evidence to this claim by expounding upon how man is to love God with all of his heart as its secondary theme. The books of the prophets provide evidence to this claim by expounding upon how man is to love God with all of his mind as its secondary theme, as he set his hope in the coming of the Messiah to redeem mankind. The historical books provide evidence to this claim by expounding upon how man is to love God with all of his strength as its secondary theme.

The central claim of the four Gospel writers is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, which is the foundational theme of this division of the Holy Scriptures. In addition, each Gospel writer offers evidence as its secondary theme to support his claim. The Gospel of John offers the five-fold testimony of God the Father, John the Baptist, the miracles of Jesus, the Old Testament Scriptures, and the testimony of Jesus Christ Himself as its secondary theme. Matthew expounds upon the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures as its secondary theme; Mark expounds upon the testimony of the miracles of Jesus as its secondary theme; Luke expounds upon the testimony of John the Baptist and other eye-witnesses and well as that of the apostles in the book of Acts as its secondary theme.

The central claim of the Pauline Church Epistles is that the Gospel of Jesus Christ alone how the power to redeem and transform man into the image of Jesus, which is the foundational theme of this division of the Holy Scriptures. The epistle of Romans supports this claim by offering evidence of mankind's depravity and God's plan of redemption to redeem him as its secondary theme. The epistles of Ephesians and Philippians expound upon the role of God the Father in His divine foreknowledge as their secondary theme; the epistles of Colossians and Galatians expound upon the role of Jesus Christ as the head of the Church as their secondary theme; the epistles of 1, 2 Thessalonians , 1, 2Corinthians expound upon the role of the Holy Spirit in sanctifying the believers as their secondary theme.

The central claim of the Pastoral Epistles is that believers must serve God through the order of the New Testament Church. The epistles of 1, 2Timothy expound upon how to serve the Lord within the Church with a pure heart, which is its secondary theme. The epistle of Titus expounds upon how to serve the Lord within the Church with a renewed mind, which is its secondary theme. The epistle of Philemon expounds upon how to serve the Lord within the Church with a genuine lifestyle, which is its secondary theme.

The central claim of the General Epistles is that believers must persevere in the Christian faith in order to obtain eternal redemption. The epistles of Hebrews ,, James , and 1Peter modify this theme to reflect perseverance from persecutions from without the Church. The epistle of Hebrews expounds upon the High Priesthood of Jesus Christ, which is its secondary theme. The epistle of James expounds upon a lifestyle of perseverance through the joy of the Holy Spirit, which is its secondary theme. The epistle of 1Peter expounds upon our hope of divine election through God the Father, which is its secondary theme. The epistles of 2Peter, 1, 2, 3, John and Jude reflect perseverance from false doctrines from within. The epistle of 2Peter expounds upon growing in the knowledge of God's Word with a sound mind, which is its secondary theme. The epistles of 1, 2, 3John expound upon walking in fellowship with God and one another with a pure heart, which is its secondary theme. The epistle of Jude expounds how living a godly lifestyle with our bodies, which is its secondary theme.

The Apocalypse of John , though not considered an epistle, emphasizes the glorification of the Church, giving believers a vision of the hope that is laid up before them as a source of encouragement for those who persevere until the end. The central claim of the book of Revelation is that Jesus Christ is coming to take His Bride the Church to Glory. The secondary theme supports this claim with the evidence of Great Tribulation Period.

1. The Secondary Theme of the Gospel of John - The secondary theme of the Gospel of John is the five-fold testimony that supports the primary claim that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, 88] which is the fundamental tenet of the Christian faith. This explains why many new believers are asked to read this Gospel early in their conversion experience. Such a declaration of Christ's deity requires evidence. When a testimony is given in a court of law, it is accompanied by all of the available evidence. This is how John the apostle presents his case of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. In John 5:1-47, Jesus tells us there are four witnesses to confirm His Deity, which are the testimonies of the Father, of John the Baptist, of the works and miracles of Jesus, and of the Old Testament Scriptures. Jesus declares Himself as a fifth witness in John 8:18.

88] The emphasis on the deity of Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John is widely recognized by scholars. For example, Louis Berkhof says, "The gospel of John emphasizes more than any of the others the Divinity of Christ." See Louis Berkhof, New Testament Introduction (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans-Sevensma Co, 1915), 104.

The secondary theme of John , which provides the structure to this Gospel, is built upon this five-fold testimony. John's Gospel relies on the testimonies of these five sources in order to declare the deity of the Savior. These five witnesses of Christ's deity support the primary theme of the Gospel of John , which is the declaration that Jesus is the Son of God. This is why John ends his testimony of witnesses with the declaration, "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." ( John 20:31). The secondary theme of John's Gospel states that all available, supporting witnesses confirm that Jesus is truly God manifested in the flesh, the Son of God. Therefore, John's Gospel is a collection of five testimonies which are used to witness to this fact. The Gospel of John opens with the testimony of the Father declaring Jesus' eternal Sonship ( John 1:1-18). This is followed by the testimony of John the Baptist and his disciples ( John 1:19-51), the testimony of six of His miracles, the seventh being His resurrection ( John 2:1 to John 11:54), the testimony of seven Old Testament passages ( John 11:55 to John 20:31), and the testimony of Jesus Christ Himself ( John 21:1-23). Together these five witnesses support the claim that Jesus is the Son of God. John's Gospel also emphasizes Jesus' relationship with the Father much more than the other Gospels.

2. The Secondary Themes of the Synoptic Gospels- An examination of the secondary themes of the Synoptic Gospels find that they serve as additional witnesses to the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ by emphasizing one of these five witnesses stated in John. Thus, the Gospel of John will serve as the foundational book of the Gospels, and of the entire New Testament. In fact, a person can simply believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and be saved, whether or not he has a deeper and fuller revelation our Saviour and the other New Testament books. Faith in Christ Jesus as the Son of God is the foundational message of the John's Gospel, while the other Gospels support this message. The Gospel of Matthew portrays Jesus Christ as the Messiah who fulfilled the prophecies of Old Testament Scripture. Matthew testifies from the Scriptures that Jesus Christ is the King of the Jews to support His claim as the Messiah; for in this Gospel is a chronological list of Scriptures that were fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ. Therefore, Matthew serves as the testimony from Scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah sent to usher in the Kingdom of Heaven. The Gospel of Mark testifies of the many miracles of the Lord Jesus Christ by emphasizing the preaching of the Gospel as the way in which these miracles take place. The Gospel of Mark centers it theme on the miracles of our Lord and Savior. Thus, the witness of Jesus' works and miracles is revealed by Mark. The Gospel of Luke serves to give testimony from men who were eye-witnesses of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. It gives the most extensive story on the birth, life and testimony of John the Baptist. It also gives the testimonies of many others, such as Zacharias, Elisabeth, Mary, Simeon, and Anna. Luke presents Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world that was under the authority of Roman rule, and he was writing to a Roman official who was able to exercise his authority over men. Thus, Luke was able to contrast Jesus' divine authority and power to that of the Roman rule. Jesus rightfully held the title as the Saviour of the world because of the fact that He had authority over mankind as well as the rest of God's creation. Someone who saves and delivers a person does it because he has the authority and power over that which oppresses the person. Finally, the book of Acts gives the testimonies of the Apostles and early Church. In summary, Matthew represents the testimony of the Scriptures, which sees Jesus Christ as the Messiah and coming King of the Jews. Mark represents the works and miracles of Jesus, and sees Him as the Preacher of the Gospel with signs and wonders following. Luke represents John the Baptist and other eyewitnesses, who testify of Jesus as the Saviour of the World. It is important to note that although each of the four Gospels emphasizes one particular witness, the testimonies of the other three witnesses can be found within the framework of each Gospel, but only one has a major emphasis. Finally, the book of Acts gives us the testimony of the early disciples, which builds upon Luke's theme, as they testify of Jesus as the Saviour of the World ( John 15:26-27).

John 15:26-27, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning."

In fact, every book of the Holy Bible serves as some form of a testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus stated this in John 5:39.

John 5:39, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

Although each of the four Gospels emphasizes one particular witness, the testimonies of the other three witnesses are also woven within the framework of each Gospel.

3. Comparison of the Great Commissions of the Four Gospels- We can clearly see the themes of the four Gospels clearly emphasized in each of their Great Commissions. When Matthew's Great Commission is compared to the one in Mark , the distinction is obvious. The Great Commission ending the Gospel of Matthew serves as a final commission to the Church to build itself upon the foundational doctrines laid down in these five discourses through the teaching ministry. Mark's Gospel emphasizes the preaching of the Gospel with signs following. This supports the major themes of each Gospel. Matthew's underlying theme is to testify of Jesus through Scriptures, which lays the foundation for doctrine. Mark's theme is the testimony of Jesus through His miracles, which Gospel He delivers to His disciples. The structural theme of Luke's Gospel is the collection of verifiable eyewitness accounts as to the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. As a result, Jesus commands His disciples to be witnesses of these events by preaching the Gospel to all nations beginning at Jerusalem ( Luke 24:47), and to tarry in Jerusalem unto they be endued with power on high ( Luke 24:49). Thus, he is making a clear reference to the contents of the book of Acts; and thus, he establishes its theme. The structural theme of John's Gospel is the five-fold testimony of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. John's Gospel reveals His deity with the testimony of the Father, of John the Baptist, of Jesus' miracles, by the fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures and finally in the last chapter by the testimony of Jesus Himself. This is why John's commission is simply, "Come, follow Me."

C. Third Theme (Imperative): The Proclamation of the Cross and the Persecution of the Church (The Office of the Pastor: Following Jesus and Feeding His Sheep) - Introduction- The third theme of each book of the Holy Scriptures is a call by the author for the reader to apply the central truth, or claim, laid down in the book to the Christian life. It is a call to a lifestyle of crucifying the flesh and taking up one's Cross daily to follow Jesus. Every child of God has been predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ ( Romans 8:29), and every child of God faces challenges as well as failures in the pursuit of his Christian journey. For example, the imperative theme of the Old Testament is that God's children are to serve the Lord God with all of their heart, mind, and strength, and love their neighbour as themselves ( Deuteronomy 6:4-5).

The child of God cannot fulfill his divine destiny of being conformed into the image of Jesus without yielding himself and following the plan of redemption that God avails to every human being. This 4-fold, redemptive path is described in Romans 8:29-30 as predestination, calling, justification, and glorification. The phase of justification can be further divided into regeneration, indoctrination, divine service, and perseverance. Although each individual will follow a unique spiritual journey in life, the path is the same in principle for every believer since it follows the same divine pattern described above. This allows us to superimpose one of three thematic schemes upon each book of the Holy Scriptures in order to vividly see its imperative theme. Every book follows a literary structure that allows either (1) the three-fold scheme of Father, Song of Solomon , and Holy Spirit: or (2) the scheme of spirit, soul, and body of man; or (3) the scheme of predestination, calling, justification (regeneration, indoctrination, divine service, and perseverance), and glorification in some manner.

1. The Third Theme of the Gospel of John - The third theme of the Gospel of John involves the response of the recipient to God's divine calling revealed in its primary and secondary themes, which declares that there are five witnesses to prove the deity of Jesus Christ. As believers we are predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ Jesus ( Romans 8:29). In order to go through this process of transformation, we, too, must live a crucified life daily through obedience to the divine calling given in this book in proclaiming the Cross. Jesus endured the Cross for the sins of mankind and we must take up our cross daily to follow Him. This means that we must endure persecution just as our Saviour endured. The rejection of Jesus by the Jews and acceptance by the Gentiles is played out in many passages of this Gospel as an underlying theme. As with the Synoptic Gospels, John purposely weaves within his Gospel a series of events that show the rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ by the Jewish people, by His disciples, by His family and by the Jewish leaders, and His acceptance by sinners. The message that John gives the readers is the same message that the other Gospels give, which says that persecutions await all those who accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

In John's Gospel the crucified life is seen in our obedience to Jesus' final commission to follow Him, even unto death by feeding His sheep. The evidence of our following Him and feeding His sheep is demonstrated by our walking in fellowship with the Father as Jesus walked with Him. The plan of fulfilling this final command of feeding His sheep is laid out in John's Gospel. In John's Gospel the crucified life is seen in our obedience to Jesus' final commission to Peter the apostle to feed His sheep. This work best reflects the office and ministry of the pastor in the five-fold ministry of the Church. Thus, according to John's Gospel the Kingdom of God is established upon earth through the pastoral ministry of shepherding God's sheep, learning to follow Jesus in daily fellowship. Finally, the message of following Jesus is carried into the theme of John's first epistle as the message of walking in fellowship with the Father.

An additional comment is worth noting about the structural relationship of the four Gospels. The Gospel of John serves as a foundational book that the Synoptic Gospels are built upon. Just as the epistle of Romans serves as a foundation upon which the themes of the other six "church" epistles are laid, that Isaiah ,, Galatians , 1,2Thessalonians, Ephesians and Colossians , 1,2Corinthians, and Philippians , so does the Gospel of John serve the other Gospels. For example, the Gospel of John is structured so as to give the testimonies of the Father ( John 1:1-18), of John the Baptist ( John 1:19-51), of Jesus' miracles ( John 2:1 to John 12:11), of Scripture ( John 12:12 to John 20:31) and of Jesus Himself ( John 21:1-23).

Matthew's Gospel emphasizes John's testimony of the Old Scripture. Mark's Gospel emphasizes John's testimony of Jesus' miracles. Luke -Acts emphasizes John's testimony of the testimony of men. This helps explain why the Gospel of John and the epistle to the Romans is so popular among new believers, since they serve as a foundation to their type of New Testament literature.

XI. Literary Structure

The literary structure of the Gospel of John must follow the thematic scheme of the book. It is important to note that such a breakdown of this book of the Holy Bible was not necessarily intended by the original author, but it is being used as a means of making the interpretation easier. It is hoped that this summary and outline can identify the underlying themes of the book, as well as the themes of its major divisions, sections and subsections. Then individual verses can more easily be understood in light of the emphasis of the immediate passages in which they are found.

A. Identifying the Structure of the Gospel of John - Before we can give a summary of the Gospel of John , we must decide upon its structure. There are a number of different ways that scholars have chosen to outline the Gospel of John. I have listed a few of the more common outlines.

1. Signs/Glory Outline - One popular outline for the Gospel of John mentioned repeatedly in modern times is to identify John 1:1-18 as the prologue and John 21as the epilogue, with the body of the narrative material divided into two major sections. John 1:19 through John 12has often been identified as material that gives the signs of Jesus' deity, while John 13-20 gives His passion, or glorification. While John 1-12does in fact give the signs, or testimonies, of Jesus' deity through a number of recorded miracles, John 20:30-31 tells us that the author considered signs as part of the narrative material all of the way through chapter 20. Thus, while the Signs/Glory Outline takes us in the right direction, it needs some adjustments to fit the structure intended by the author.

2. Public/Private Ministry Outline - A very popular way to outline the Gospel of John is to base its structure upon two major periods, called Jesus' public ministry, and His private ministry. His public ministry was to the people and His private ministry was to His disciples.

The Prologue

The Public Ministry to John 12:50

The Private Ministry to John 17:26

His Death & Resurrection to John 20:31

The Epilogue

However, this structure does not reflect the major theme of the Gospel of John , which is the testimony of His deity as the Son of God, which the author states is carried through chapter 20.

3. Geographical Outline - Another popular way to outline the Gospel of John is to base its structure upon the different geographical locations of His ministry, which took place in Judea, Galilee, Jerusalem, and Perea.

The Prologue

The Early Judean Ministry to John 5:47

The Galilean Ministry to John 7:8

The Jerusalem Ministry to John 10:39

The Perean Ministry to John 11:57

His Private Ministry to John 17:26

His Death & Resurrection to John 20:31

The Epilogue

Again, this outline does not reflect the major theme of the Gospel of John , which places emphasis upon the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ.

4. The Five-fold Witness Outline- The Gospel of John can be divided into a structural outline by following the four-fold witness that Jesus discusses in John 5:17-47, which are the testimonies of God the Father ( John 5:17-30), of John the Baptist ( John 5:31-35), of Jesus' works ( John 5:36-38) and of the Old Testament Scriptures ( John 5:39-47) that Jesus is the Son of God, which serves as the foundational truth of the New Testament Scriptures. Jesus will later provide Himself as a fifth testimony of His deity in John 8:14. John 1:1-18 reveals the testimony of the Father. In John 1:19-51 we have the testimony of John the Baptist and his disciples. In John 2:1 to John 11:54 we find six miracles, or works, of Jesus that the author uses as a testimony of His deity with the seventh miracle being His resurrection. The fourth testimony to the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ emphasizes the fulfillment of Scriptures. Therefore, John 11:55 to John 20:29 makes seven references in which Jesus' passion fulfilled Old Testament Scriptures. This structure resolves the dilemma of the conclusion given by the author in John 20:30-31, since John 2-20 is divided into seven testimonies of Jesus' deity through seven miracles. The Gospel of John closes with the testimony of Jesus calling His disciples to follow Him in chapter 21.

In addition, these five testimonies are given in the order in which God gave them to mankind. The Father testified of the coming Messiah under the Old Covenant. John the Baptist appeared and served as the second witness just before Jesus' public appearance. The miracles of Jesus' ministry became the third witness of His deity. Finally, after Jesus' resurrection, the New Testament Church began to receive revelation from the Old Testament Scriptures of how Jesus fulfilled its prophecies, particularly by His Passion and Resurrection. Thus, John will present these five witnesses in a chronological order in his Gospel.

B. A Proposed Structure of the Gospel of John Using the Five-fold Witness Outline - I have chosen to use the Five-fold Witness Outline because it offers the best presentation of the three-fold thematic scheme of the Gospel of John that is proposed in the preceding introductory section. With the structure of John's Gospel being made up of the five-fold testimony of Jesus' deity, John 1:1-18 places emphasis upon the first of these five witnesses, that of God the Father. The second testimony comes from John the Baptist and his disciples and is found in John 1:19-51. The third and largest section of John's Gospel is given to the testimony of the works, or miracles, of Jesus ( John 2:1 to John 11:54). In this section John records seven key miracles associated with seven feasts. The seventh miracle is the miracle of the Resurrection, found in John 11:55 to John 20:29, which serves as the strongest testimony of the deity of Jesus Christ. Embedded within this seventh miracle narrative are seven events of Christ's Passion that were predicted in the Old Testament Scriptures, which is the fourth major testimony of the Gospel of John. Each of these events is supported by Old Testament quotations declaring their fulfillment. The Gospel of John closes in chapter 21with the fifth testimony, that of Jesus calling His disciples, and us, to follow Him. Therefore, after hearing the witness of four others testifying of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have Jesus making a personal and final call to follow Him.

I. The Testimony of the Father that Jesus Christ is the Son of God ( John 1:1-18) - The theme of each book in the Holy Bible is revealed in the first few verses of each book. The theme of the Gospel of John is the testimony of the Father declaring Jesus Christ to be the eternal Son of God. This is clearly stated in the opening verses of John's Gospel ( John 1:1-18). Even in the closing passages of this Gospel the author makes a direct reference to the deity of Jesus Christ as the Son of God ( John 20:30-31) and an indirect reference by stating that if all of His works were recorded the world could not contain the books that would be written ( John 21:55).

John 20:30-31, "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."

John 21:25, "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."

With the structure of John's Gospel being made up of the five-fold testimony of Jesus' deity, John 1:1-18 places emphasis upon the first of these five witnesses, that of God the Father. In this opening passage of Scripture God the Father gives His testimony to mankind that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The theme of this passage that opens John's Gospel is that the Word of God was with the Father before He became flesh and dwelt among us. This is the testimony of God the Father. Thus, the first office and ministry of Jesus Christ before He became the Apostle of our faith and Great High Priest and soon coming King was the office of the Word of God. It is important to note that Jesus Christ was not the Son of God until He became a man. He is called the pre-incarnate Word of God until His virgin birth. When He partook of flesh and blood as the Son of God, Jesus Christ was rejected by men and crucified at Calvary. Later in this Gospel, we realize that the reason the Jews rejecting Him was because they were looking for a conquering king, one who would deliver them from Roman oppression. However, Jesus came first as the Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world ( Revelation 13:8). Thus, in the passage of Scripture that immediately follows, John the Baptist will introduce Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God to the Jews ( John 1:19-28). The Jews did not recognize Him as this Suffering Servant and, therefore, crucified Him for blasphemy because He called Himself the Son of God.

Revelation 13:8, "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

Jesus Christ is described in John 1:1-18 as the Word of God, which office He still carries as testified in the book of Revelations ( Revelation 19:13).

Revelation 19:13, "And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God."

In summarizing John 1:1-18, John 1:1-5 contains a parallel passage to the Creation Story in Genesis by using the phrase "in the beginning," revealing the role of Jesus Christ prior to creation ( John 1:1-2), during creation ( John 1:3-4), and after creation ( John 1:5). After testifying to the pre-incarnate Jesus as the Word of God in John 1:1-5, the author jumps forward four thousand years from the time of creation to the testimony of John the Baptist ( John 1:6-13) and the incarnation of the Word ( John 1:14-18). John 1:14-18 takes us into the second phase of Jesus" ministry as the Son of Prayer of Manasseh , born thru the virgin Mary, and as the Son of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit. Hebrew John 3:1 called Jesus an Apostle in this second phase, which was His earthly ministry.

Hebrews 3:1, "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;"

Here is a proposed outline:

A. The Father Testifies of the Light of the World ( John 1:1-5) - We see that the testimony of the Heavenly Father reveals the divine pre-incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ and how He held the office as the Word of God in the beginning ( John 1:1-2). Through the creation of the heavens, earth, and mankind, God the Father testified of His Son's per-incarnate deity from the time of Creation until the time of John the Baptist ( John 1:3-4). Yet, man rejected this witness ( John 1:5). The objective of John 1:1-5 is to declare Jesus as the Light of the World by which mankind comes to the knowledge of God and partakes of redemption. Thus, the next passage of Scripture ( John 1:6-13) picks up this motif and develops it in the preaching of John the Baptist.

B. The Father Sends John the Baptist to Testify of the Light of the World ( John 1:6-13) - Because mankind rejected the Father's testimony of the Word since the time of creation ( John 1:5), the Father now sends John the Baptist to testify of the coming of the per-incarnate Son of God and to reveal Him through water baptism ( John 1:6-13). These verses focus on John's message of Jesus Christ as the pre-incarnate Light who created all things and to whom creation bears witness of the Light and knowledge of God ( John 1:6-9). Although many have rejected the testimony of God the Father ( John 1:10-11), those who accept it will be born of God ( John 1:12-13).

C. Summary of the Five-fold Witness of the Father ( John 1:14-18) - After we learn that Jesus Christ was with the Father in the beginning and that creation testifies of Him ( John 1:1-5), and we are told that God sent John the Baptist to bear witness of the Light before Jesus was manifested to the world ( John 1:6-13), we now have a brief list of the five-fold witnesses that God sent to mankind once Jesus Christ was baptized in order to be recognized by the world as the Son of God ( John 1:14-18). God sent Jesus Christ into this world with a supernatural birth and the Word became flesh ( John 1:14 a). What would we see if we beheld the Word manifested and embodied in flesh and blood walking and living among us? What would God manifested in the flesh look like? The next few verses tell us what He looks like.

1. The Witness of the Father b

2. The Witness of John the Baptist

3. The Witness of His Works

4. The Witness of Scripture

5. The Witness of Jesus' Words

This five-fold testimony will serve to identify for us the structure of the Gospel of John from which we will build an outline. John's Gospel can be divided according to this five-fold witness.

The Testimony of the Father

The Testimony of John and His Disciples

The Testimony of Jesus' Miracles to John 11:54

The Testimony of Scriptures to John 20:29

The Testimony of Jesus

In addition, Jesus discusses these witnesses in John 5:19-47.

Jesus Testifies of Himself

Testimony of John the Baptist

Testimony of His Works

Testimony of the Father

Testimony of the Scriptures

Here is a summary:

1. The Witness of the Father ( John 1:14 b) (see John 1:1-14) - How did the Father testify of the pre-incarnate deity of His Son Jesus Christ after His baptism? The apostles then beheld the glory of the God, or deity, embodied within the man Jesus Christ ( John 1:14 b). One example would have been at His baptism, and another would have been on the Mount of Transfiguration. Through these divine manifestations of God's glory mankind could see the Father's love for humanity.

2. The Witness of John the Baptist ( John 1:15) (see John 1:19-51) - How did John the Baptist testify of the pre-incarnate deity of Jesus Christ after His baptism? John the Baptist announced the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ as One who was pre-incarnate. Through his preaching mankind could see the Father's love for humanity.

3. The Witness of His Works ( John 1:16) (see John 2:1 to John 20:31) - How did the works and miracles of Jesus Christ testify to the pre-incarnate deity of Jesus Christ after His baptism? The apostles saw Jesus Christ in His fullness, both spirit, soul and body, as well as financially sound. He had no lack in anything, but walked in fullness in every area of His life. Jesus Christ showed to us what fullness means as a human being. God wants us complete in every area of our lives. Then, as Jesus Christ began to perform miracles, men began to partake of His fullness. We become whole, or walk in our fullness, by these miracles. Through these miracles mankind could see the Father's love for humanity.

4. The Witness of the Scriptures ( John 1:17) (see John 11:55 to John 20:29) - How did the Old Testament Scriptures testify to the pre-incarnate deity of Jesus Christ after His baptism? The life and ministry of Jesus Christ fulfilled many Old Testament Scriptures. By the fulfillment of prophetic Scriptures, Jesus Christ showed us a God of love and truth. These Scriptures revealed God's plan of bestowing His grace upon mankind while remaining true to His judgment upon a sinful world. Moses revealed to us laws to live by and these laws revealed man's sinfulness. But the Scriptures revealed Jesus Christ as the Father's way of showing His love for humanity.

5. The Witness of Jesus Christ Himself ( John 1:18) (see John 21:1-23) - How did Jesus Christ Himself testify to His pre-incarnate deity after His baptism? Jesus Christ declared Himself to be the Son of God who had been sent from the Father in Heaven.

Conclusion- This five-fold testimony will follow the same order as they are presented in the Gospel of John. In addition, these five testimonies are given in the order in which God gave them to mankind. The Father testified of the coming Messiah under the Old Covenant. John the Baptist appeared and served as the second witness just before Jesus' public appearance. The miracles of Jesus' ministry became the third witness of His deity. Finally, after Jesus' resurrection, the New Testament Church began to receive revelation from the Old Testament Scriptures of how Jesus fulfilled its prophecies, particularly by His Passion and Resurrection. Thus, John will present these five witnesses in a chronological order in his Gospel.

II. The Testimony of John the Baptist ( John 1:19-51) - The second testimony comes from John the Baptist and his disciples and is found in John 1:19-51. This passage even opens by declaring it as the testimony of John by saying, "And this is the record of John..."

John 1:19, "And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?"

While the testimony of the Father ( John 1:1-18) reveals God the Father's divine foreknowledge in sending His Son into the world to redeem mankind, the testimony of John the Baptist and his disciples ( John 1:19-51) reveals the justification that Jesus Christ has come to bring mankind so that we may stand righteous before Him; for He must be slain as the Lamb of God.

This section can be divided into four subsections, or four testimonies, with the divisions marked by the phrase "the next day."

A. John's Testimony to the Jewish Leaders ( John 1:19-28) - John the Baptist was careful with his reply to the Jewish leaders; for he was answering a group of people that would one day seize the Messiah and crucify Him. In addition, when explaining his office and ministry to them, he gave himself a very humble title for a man doing such a great work of God. He described himself as the Word of God describes him, rather than how he saw himself in a humbled condition compared to others in society. We, too, are to say what God's Word says about us, rather than describe ourselves as defeated.

After giving himself a humble title before the Pharisees, John's testimony to the Jewish leaders emphasizes the authority of the One coming after him, whose authority supersedes that of the Pharisees, who believed themselves to be in authority.

When we understand the underlying themes of the four Gospels, it is easy to see each of these themes emphasized within their separate accounts of John the Baptist. Since Matthew's Gospel emphasizes the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures, he begins in Matthew 3:1-12 about how that John the Baptist is represented as the one who fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah. Mark's Gospel emphasizes the proclamation of the Gospel. Although Mark 1:1-8 is very similar to Matthew's passage it gives more text about the proclamation of John the Baptist. Luke's Gospel emphasizes the prophetic eyewitness testimonies surrounding Jesus Christ's ministry. Therefore, Luke 3:1-20 begins by referring to verifiable dates of the ministry of John the Baptist with his prophetic message of the coming Saviour. Finally, this parallel passage in John's Gospel emphasizes John the Baptist's testimony of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ as he declares that he was send by God to reveal the Lamb of God to the world. John 1:19-28 provides the testimony of John the Baptist as one of the five witnesses declaring the deity of Jesus Christ that make up the structure of the Gospel of John.

B. John Testifies of the Lamb of God (Jesus' Baptism) ( John 1:29-34) - In John 1:29-34 we read the story of how John the Baptist baptizes Jesus Christ and declares Him to be the Lamb of God.

C. The Testimony of John's Disciples ( John 1:35-51) - We read in John 1:35-51 about the testimonies of how the disciples of John the Baptist recognized Jesus Christ as the Son of God. This passage tells us about five disciples named John , Andrew, Peter, Philip and Nathanael who met Jesus Christ and believed upon Him within the first few days of His Judean ministry. We will read in Matthew 4:18-22 how Jesus Christ was walking by the Sea of Galilee and called Peter, Andrew, John and James to follow Him while in His Galilean ministry. They immediately left their nets and followed Him. However, the events in the Gospel of Matthew took place after the death of John the Baptist, perhaps a year or two later. Thus, we see that the calling of disciples in the first few days of Jesus' ministry was not a calling to forsake their work and follow him, although we see them following him before the imprisonment of John the Baptist ( John 3:22-24). This second calling in Matthew emphasizes the fact that Jesus met them later and asked them at that time to lay down their nets, forsake all and follow Him permanently. In summary, John's Gospel emphasizes the fact that the disciples recognized Jesus Christ as the Son of God while Matthew's Gospel places emphasis upon Jesus selecting and training His disciples.

1. The Testimony of John and Andrew ( John 1:35-42) - We read in John 1:35-42 of how two of John's disciples first met Jesus Christ and introduced Him to Peter. Scholars believe that the unnamed disciple in this passage in John. Since it was John the apostle"s custom in writing this Gospel not to mention his own name, but to only make a reference to himself, it is very likely that he is one of the two disciples that are first mentioned in this passage, since the second person is clearly named as Andrew in John 1:40. This deliberate attempt to avoid naming a person in this Gospel is a clear indication of the identity of John the apostle.

2. The Testimony of Philip and Nathanael ( John 1:43-51) - In John 1:43-51 we read of how Jesus Christ calls two more disciples, Philip and Nathanael. Philip is listed in the Synoptics as one of the Twelve ( Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:14) while Nathanael is not mentioned at all in the Synoptic Gospels. Although Philip is associated with Bartholomew in each list of the Twelve, scholars have not been able to associate Nathanael with Bartholomew. 89] However, Nathanael is placed in John 1:43-51 because he one of the earliest witnesses of Jesus Christ as the Messiah.

89] Andreas Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 79-80.

III. The Testimony of Jesus' Works ( John 2:1 to John 20:31) - The third and largest section of John's Gospel is given to the testimony of the works, or miracles, of Jesus ( John 2:1 to John 11:54). In this section we find six miracles, or works, of Jesus that the author uses to reveal several important aspects about the deity of Jesus, with the seventh miracle being that of Christ's resurrection ( John 11:55 to John 20:29). (The section containing the seventh miracle will also contain the seven testimonies of Old Testament Scripture.) It appears that John the apostle selected seven particular miracles which occasioned Jesus that best testified of His deity. 90] Within each of the seven subsections of miracles, several common elements are found. Each will contain a miracle, followed by Jesus' testimony of His deity occasioned by the miracle, the response of the people's faith, and often His rejection by the Jews. The seven particular miracles recorded in John's Gospel clearly tell the story of how Jesus revealed Himself to mankind as the Son of God. Thus, these seven particular miracles "manifest" His glory, or deity. We find in John 2:1-11 the record of the first of seven miracles in John's Gospel. This passage closes with the comment from the author that the purpose of recording these particular miracles was to "manifested forth his glory" ( John 2:11), which is the underlying theme of the Gospel of John , to reveal the glory that Jesus Christ has with God the Father as the Son of God. These seven miracles serve as testimonies that reveal His glory as the Son of God, with each miracle revealing a difference aspect of Jesus' glory with the Father as well as His divine nature. Note how John 2:11, which verse closes the first miracle, declares this section of John's Gospel as the beginning of His miracles.

90] The proposition that the Gospel of John contains seven distinct miracles, or testimonies, that witness to the deity of Jesus Christ is not new. Those scholars who do propose seven miracles offer a variety of combinations as to which passages qualify as a distinct miracle or testimony. For example, G. Campbell Morgan names seven miracles that are popularly used as: (1) the water to wine 2:1-12], (2) restoration at Cana 4:43-54], (3) the man at the pool 5:1-9], (4) feeding the multitudes 6:1-15], (5) stilling the storm 6:16-21], (6) the blind man 9:1-7], and (7) Lazarus 11:1-44]. See G. Campbell Morgan, The Analyzed Bible: The Gospel According to John (New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1909), insert page. I believe that John the apostle uses seven miracles to shape the literary structure of the Gospel of John in 2:1 to 20:29, with 20:30-31serving as a summary of these miracles. Thus, I proposed that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the seventh miracle, while suggesting that the miracle of Jesus walking on the water does not fit within this literary structure of the Gospel of John.

John 2:11, "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him."

John 2:11 also says that these miracles serve to reveal His glory, with each miracle revealing a difference aspect of Jesus' glory with the Father as well as His divine nature and redemptive role for mankind. Thus, the miracles and declarations of Jesus found in this section all point to His coming Passion: death, burial and resurrection. It is important to understand that the revelations of Jesus' glory reveal progressively more and more of His divinity. Each revelation could only be understood by those believers who had embraced the previous revelation of His glory. 91] Thus, many turned back from following Him during the course of His public ministry, so that it was only to His dedicated disciples that He revealed His crucifixion and coming resurrection.

91] The progressive revelation of the deity of Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John is noted by scholars. For example, Alexander MacLaren says, "…the story of the gradual illumination of his spirit until it came to the full light of the perception of Christ as the Son of God, was far more to the Evangelist, and ought to be far more to us than giving the outward eye power to discern the outward light." See Alexander MacLaren, The Gospel According to St. John chapters IX to XIV, in Expositions of Holy Scripture (New York: A. C. Armstrong and Song of Solomon , 1908), 11-12.

Structural Markers of John 2:1 to John 20:31 - John 2:1 to John 20:31 can be divided according to seven Jewish feasts. Within each of these seven feast sections is found a single miracle, a miracle that testifies of a particular aspect of Jesus' deity. We find six of these miracles ending with a statement that many believed in Him because of these miracles ( John 2:11; John 4:53; John 5:15; John 6:14; John 9:38; John 11:45). The seventh miracle of the Resurrection also ends with a similar statement of people believing in Him ( John 20:29). In addition, the first six sections have distinct transitional statements regarding Jesus journeying to a Jewish feast and retreating after manifesting Himself as the Son of God ( John 2:2; John 2:12; John 5:1; John 6:1; John 7:1-10; John 10:23). The seventh miracle of the Resurrection also begins and ends with a similar statement of Jesus arriving at the feast ( John 11:55 to John 12:1). These sections begin with an introduction to a Jewish feast, and within these sections can be found subsections that can be divided by recurring narrative phrases such as "after these things." The word "miracles" ( σημειον) (G 4592) will occur fourteen (14) times within this section of John 2:1 to John 11:54 out of the seventeen (17) times it is found within the entire Gospel, since the miracles of Jesus Christ are emphasized in this section. Each occurrence of the word "miracle" in this section is accompanied with a statement about the people believing in Jesus, particularly the Gentiles, or about the Jewish leaders rejecting Him because of such miracles. Thus, the purpose of each of these miracles was to show forth the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ so that the people would believe in Him, while contrasting those who rejected His testimony. The seventh and final miracle will be found during the seventh and final Passover feast in which Jesus Christ is resurrected from the dead by the power of the Father. The seventh miracle of the resurrection is the focus of the next section ( John 11:55 to John 20:31), which also gives us seven testimonies of Jesus' deity from the Old Testament Scripture.

The Thematic Scheme of John 2:1 to John 20:31 - John 2:1 to John 20:31 records seven miracles which Jesus worked on seven festival occasions that provided an opportunity to declare Himself as the Son of God, with the seventh miracle of the resurrection taking place on the seventh feast of the Passover. It is interesting to note that each of these miracles will be performed at festive occasions, telling us that Jesus' work of redemption for mankind is a cause for rejoicing and celebrating. This section of John's Gospel follows a thematic scheme revealing Jesus' role in man's redemption, which are predestination, divine calling, justification, indoctrination, divine service and perseverance, and glorification. Predestination ( John 2:1-11) - At the wedding feast Jesus declares that His time had not yet come, a reference to the fact that He has been predestined to shed His own blood on Calvary at God the Father's preordained time, revealing God's predestined plan of redemption for mankind as well. It is through Christ we have been predestined for redemption and salvation. Divine Calling ( John 2:12 to John 4:54) - At the first Jewish Passover Jesus performs miracles and tells Nicodemus that He has been sent from Heaven, only to be rejected by the Jews and accepted by the Gentiles, revealing Jesus' divine calling to come to earth for mankind to believe in Him. It is through Christ being sent from Heaven that we have been called to believe in Him. Justification ( John 5:1-47) - At the third feast of the Jews Jesus calls for men to believe in Him as the Son of God through the four-fold testimony of the Father, of John the Baptist, of the Old Testament Scriptures, and of His miracles. These four testimonies justify Jesus Christ as the Son of God and reveal man's need for justification through faith in Him. It is through Christ we have been given the testimonies by which man must believe unto salvation. Indoctrination ( John 6:1-71) - At the time of the second Jewish Passover Jesus performed the miracle of feeding the five thousand, which provided Him the opportunity to declare Himself as the "Bread of Life," which testimony reveals man's need to partake of His redemptive work of indoctrination. Divine Service ( John 7:1 to John 10:21) - At the Feast of Tabernacles Jesus reveals Himself as "the Light of the world" ( John 8:12), the "Door of the sheepfold" ( John 10:1), and the "Good Shepherd" ( John 10:14), revealing man's redemptive need to follow Jesus in divine. It is through Christ we walk in the light of God's plan for our lives through His divine protection and provision so that we can persevere unto the end. Perseverance ( John 10:22 to John 11:57) - At the Feast of Dedication Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead and declares Himself as the "Resurrection and the Life" for all mankind, revealing man's eternal hope of glorification. It is through Christ we, too, will partake of our resurrection and eternal glorification. Glorification ( John 11:55 to John 20:29) - The final Passover in John 11:55 to John 20:29 provides the seventh miracle of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which reflects the theme of man's glorification. In addition, in this section John the apostle proves Jesus' testimonies through the fulfillment of seven events surrounding the Passion predicted in the Old Testament Scriptures.

The Miracles Testify to Similar Aspects of the Divinity of Jesus Christ - Each miracle that Jesus performed served as a type and figure of a similar aspect of Jesus' divinity. For example, Jesus turned the water to wine when testifying of the new covenant He was predestined to institute through His blood ( John 2:1-11). The healing of the nobleman's sons testified of Jesus' calling as the Saviour of the world ( John 2:12 to John 4:54). Jesus healed the lame man at the Pool of Bethesda and testified that eternal life is in Him ( John 5:1-47). During the Passover festival recorded in John 6:1-71, Jesus miraculously fed the five thousand and then told the people that He was the Bread of Life. At the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus Christ healed the blind man and then declared that He is the Light of the World ( John 7:1 to John 10:21). During the Feast of Dedication ( John 10:22 to John 11:57), Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead as a way to declare that He was the Resurrection and the Life.

A. The First Miracle ( John 2:1-11) (Predestination) (Jesus Testifies that He is the Fulfillment of the Father's Predestined Plan to Redeem Mankind) - We find in John 2:1-11 the record of the first of seven miracles recorded in John's Gospel where Jesus testifies of His deity. At the first miracle of turning the water into wine Jesus testifies of God the Father's divine plan of redemption through His predestined shedding of blood and atoning death. At the wedding feast in John 2:1-11 Jesus declares that His time had not yet come, a reference to the fact that He has been predestined to shed His own blood on Calvary at God the Father's preordained time, revealing God's predestined plan of redemption for mankind as well. The reason Jesus did not explain more about the "time" of His coming Passion and Atonement is because His disciples were not yet ready for this revelation. They would have been confused with such an explanation. Jesus would continue to reveal more about His divinity and divine calling later in His ministry as a basis for their faith to understand and accept the need for His atonement for the world. In His last discourse with the disciples, John records the words of Jesus, saying, "But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you." ( John 16:4) Thus, John the apostle writes his Gospel in a way that progressively reveals the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is through Christ we have been predestined for redemption and salvation. This miracle also reflects man's inability to meet his own need, specifically his primary need for redemption, and the fact that God the Father predestined Jesus Christ to be the ultimate source of every human need. The wine is symbolic of the precious blood of Jesus as the means of man's reconciliation with God, and it alludes to the superior covenant that God will make with mankind through His Atonement. In order to fulfill our needs Jesus first needed to fulfill His destiny on Calvary. He alludes to His atonement when asked to help at the wedding by saying, "My time is not yet." ( John 2:4) In other words, this miracle testifies specifically of God the Father's plan of redemption for mankind through Jesus Christ His Son. It provides the testimony that Jesus Christ was predestined for suffering and shedding His own blood for man's redemption. Our response to this first miracle is to believe that God the Father has foreordained redemption to mankind as a result of our faith in Jesus Christ.

B. The Second Miracle ( John 2:12 to John 4:54) (Calling) (Jesus Testifies of His Calling by Being Sent from Heaven) - The second feast and its affiliated miracle of healing the nobleman's son in John 2:12 to John 4:54 emphasizes Jesus' divine calling as the Saviour of the world, as He testifies to the Jews ( John 2:13 to John 3:21), and to non-Jews, the Samaritans ( John 4:1-42), and a Gentile nobleman in Galilee ( John 4:43-54), that He has been send by God as the Saviour, with John the Baptist giving his final testimony of God sending His Son to bring everlasting life to men ( John 3:22-36). 92]

92] Andreas Ksterberger says, "The overall intent of :54 seems to be to present the initiation of Jesus' self-disclosure and its reception among various types of groups and individuals." See Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 53.

The events surrounding the first of three Passover recorded in John 2:12 to John 4:54 led to a number of testimonies that revealed the divine calling of Jesus Christ, who was sent by God; for Nicodemus begins his dialogue with Jesus saying, "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him." ( John 3:2) This section reveals how God the Father sent His Son from heaven to earth to redeem those would put their faith in Jesus. These testimonies reveal various aspects of Jesus' divine calling from the Father to make atonement for the sins of the world: He testifies to the Jews in the Temple of His bodily death and resurrection ( John 2:12-22); He testifies to Nicodemus of man's need to believe that God sent His only begotten Son into the world ( John 3:1-21); John the Baptist confirms Jesus' testimony of man's need to believe in the Son who has been sent by God ( John 3:22-36); Jesus testifies to the Samaritan woman that He is the Messiah that is to come and to His disciples that He has come to do the Father's will ( John 4:1-42); He heals the nobleman's son as a testimony of His call to redeem all of mankind ( John 4:46-54). In other words, this section testifies that Jesus called all three major ethnic groups that lived in Palestine during His ministry. It is through Christ being sent from Heaven that we all have been called to believe in Him as the promised Messiah, both Jews and Gentiles.

1. Jesus' Testimony to the Jews of His Divine Calling ( John 2:12 to John 3:21) - In John 2:12-22 Jesus testifies of His divine calling by referring to the resurrection of His body, which He calls His temple. His disciples would not understand this testimony until after His resurrection ( John 2:22). Jesus performed many signs to support this testimony and many believed in Him; but Jesus knew man's weaknesses ( John 2:23-25). He tells a particular Jew named Nicodemus that He has been sent from Heaven, only to be rejected by the Jews and accepted by the Gentiles, revealing Jesus' calling to come to earth for mankind to believe in Him ( John 2:12 to John 4:54). Nicodemus serves as an example of one Jew who believed that Jesus was sent by God ( John 3:1-21).

a) Jesus Cleanses the Temple and Testifies of His Divine Calling ( John 2:12-22) - The first Passover that Jesus Christ attended was accompanied by the event of Him cleansing the Temple. We read in the Synoptic Gospels about this event taking place at the end of His ministry ( Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-17, Luke 19:45-46). Thus, it is easy to suggest that Jesus cleanses the Temple on two separate occasions. The purpose of John's record of this event according to John 2:22 is to serve as a "sign," or a "testimony," of the deity of Jesus Christ in that He prophesied of His own death and resurrection. Note that the author states in John 2:22 that the disciples believed in Him after they remembered the words of Old Testament prophecy in Psalm 69:9 that Jesus quoted during this event about rebuilding the Temple in three days. Thus, this event served as a testimony of His deity in which His disciples believed. Jesus was crucified and resurrected during the Passover feast. As Jesus predicted His atonement during the wedding of Cana ( John 2:1-11), a passage that places emphasis upon the predestination of the atonement of Jesus Christ, John 2:12-22 offers the readers a little more insight into this predestined event as a transition into the next major section of John that reveals the divine calling of Jesus Christ, who was sent from Heaven to be the Saviour of the World ( John 2:12 to John 4:54).

John 2:22, "When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said."

b)The Jews Respond to His Calling ( John 2:23 to John 3:21) - John 2:23 to John 3:21 discusses the testimony of the Jewish reaction to Jesus' miracles. John 2:23-25 gives us a statement by the author that many people began to believe in Jesus Christ because of His miracles; yet, Jesus Christ knew men's hearts and was not yet willing to commit Himself to them. The story of Nicodemus follows as an example of this statement of the Jews' unstable faith. For example, Nicodemus believed in Jesus Christ, but he was not willing to publicly acknowledge his belief before his Jewish peers out of fear ( John 3:1-21).

This passage in John 2:23 to John 3:21 is an illustration of John 1:10-12 in which Jesus came unto His own creation, and was rejected by it; yet, to those who did believe, He gave them the authority as sons of God.

John 1:10-12, "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"

Here is a proposed outline:

i) Many Believe in His Miracles ( John 2:23-25) - John 2:23-25 tells us about how the people believed in Jesus Christ because of the signs that He performed. We have seen the first comment of this kind immediately after the first miracle at the wedding in Cana of Galilee ( John 2:11).

John 2:11, "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him."

Such statements about those who believe in Jesus are found throughout this Gospel as they accompany the testimonies of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Note a similar verse to John 2:23-25 in the Old Testament:

Nahum 1:7, "The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him."

ii) The Example of Nicodemus' Faith ( John 3:1-21) - The underlying theme of the second Jewish festival narrative is the testimony Jesus' calling, which is described here as One who has been sent by God. The story of Nicodemus coming to Jesus by night and testifying of his faith in Him as One who has been sent by God is an excellent example of the truth John the apostle teaches in the previous passage of John 2:23-25. The story of Nicodemus is preceded with a statement by the author that many people began to believe in Jesus Christ because of His miracles; yet, Jesus Christ knew men's hearts and was not yet willing to commit Himself to them ( John 2:23-25). Then there follows the story of Nicodemus as an example of this statement ( John 3:1-21). Nicodemus believed in Jesus Christ, but he was not willing to publicly acknowledge his belief before his Jewish peers out of fear of man. Although Nicodemus and others believed that Jesus had been sent by God, He did not commit Himself to the people.

Jesus' line of reasoning with Nicodemus is to say that if He is indeed from God, as Nicodemus acknowledges, then He must speak of heavenly things, and not of the earthly ( John 3:31; John 3:34). John the Baptist will follow this same line of reasoning in the following passage ( John 3:22-36).

(1) Jesus Calls Nicodemus ( John 3:1-15) - In John 3:1-15 Jesus Christ calls Nicodemus by answering his questions. This Pharisee came to Him by night for fear of being seen by his fellow peers.

(2) Jesus Calls All Men ( John 3:16-21) - In John 3:16-21 Jesus Christ makes His call to all men. This passage of Scripture contains perhaps the most well-known verse in the Scriptures, which is John 3:16, a verse that summarizes the ultimate theme of the Scriptures, and God's call for mankind to accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

When Jesus entered His public ministry, it is important to note that He never condemned the sinner of his sins ( John 3:17). For example, Jesus did not condemn the woman taken in adultery ( John 8:1-11), nor the Samaritan woman who had been with five husbands ( John 4:1-42). Rather, He offered Himself to them as their Healer and miracle-worker in order that they might believe in Him as their Saviour. Although He rebuked the Jewish leaders because they despised Him and they looked down upon the sinners, He did not come to condemn mankind for their sins. He looked forward to His work of redemption on Calvary and loved them, knowing that their sins were about to be paid for on Calvary. God's wrath was poured out upon Jesus Christ, so that He is no longer at war with sinful Prayer of Manasseh , as we see in the Old Testament Scriptures.

Under the Old Covenant God dealt with His children Israel by using judgment for their sins. In a similar manner, we judge our children when they disobey simply because a child cannot understand the results of his sins. However, when our children become adults, we no long discipline our children; rather, we become friends, realizing that they understand the difference between right and wrong. We stand with our children when they become adults and are ready to offer advice. In a similar way, God judged Israel as His children under the Law because they could not understand God's ways in the manner we understand under the New Covenant by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Like spanking a child, divine judgment was the only thing that Israel understood under the Old Covenant when breaking the Law. When Jesus came upon this earth and paid for the sins of mankind, past, present, and future, pouring out His Holy Spirit into the hearts of those who believe in Him, God could then call them His "friends" ( John 15:15).

John 15:15, "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."

2. John the Baptist's Final Testimony of His Divine Calling ( John 3:22-36) - The underlying theme of the second Jewish festival narrative is the testimony Jesus' divine calling from the Father, which is described here as One who has been sent by God. We have recorded in John 3:22-36 what is perhaps the final testimony of John the Baptist as he testifies that Jesus Christ has been sent from Heaven as the Son of God. This section of John's Gospel also emphasizes the fact that the Jewish leaders rejected the testimony of Jesus Christ while the Gentiles accepted Him ( John 4:1-54). We have a passage of how Jesus began to baptize more disciples than John the Baptist, which raised concern by the Pharisees as to Jesus' motives. As a result Jesus departs through Samaria and is received by the Gentiles ( John 4:1-54). Thus, the author is structuring his Gospel to show how most of the Jews rejected Jesus' ministry and how many Gentiles accepted Him.

As Jesus continued His public ministry and baptized many who believed, John the Baptist gives his final testimony that Jesus was sent from heaven by the Father and man's need to believe this testimony ( John 3:22-36). John follows the same line of reasoning that Jesus Christ gave to Nicodemus, which is to say that if Jesus is indeed from God, then He must speak of heavenly things, and not of the earthly ( John 3:31; John 3:34).

3. Jesus' Testimony to the Gentiles of His Divine Calling ( John 4:1-54) - Because of the hostility of the Jewish leaders, Jesus returns to Galilee. After the author shows us how the testimonies of Jesus were being rejected by the Jews, he then shows us in John 4:1-54 how the Gentiles openly received the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have a lengthy passage of the Samaritan woman and her village welcoming Jesus Christ as the Messiah ( John 4:1-42) followed by a statement that the Gentiles in Galilee widely accepted Him ( John 4:43-45). We are then given the example of Jesus healing the nobleman's Song of Solomon , who was a Gentile ( John 4:46-54).

The Samaritan woman testified to her village that Jesus was the Messiah that was to come ( John 4:1-42). In Galilee His testimony is widely received ( John 4:43-45), with the healing of the nobleman's son serving as an excellent example of their faith in Him ( John 4:46-54). While the first miracle in Cana of turning the water to wine symbolized the predestined plan of Jesus Christ to pour out His blood to redeem mankind back to God through a blood covenant, the second miracle of healing the nobleman's son symbolized the calling of Jesus Christ to redeem both Jews and Gentiles through faith in Him. Our response to this second miracle is to recognize Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world ( John 4:42) and to put our faith in Him.

a) A Samaritan Woman Responds to His Calling ( John 4:1-42) - We read in John 4:1-42 about the testimony of the Samaritan woman and how she came to believe that Jesus was "the Christ, the Saviour of the world" ( John 4:42). In this story, the Samaritan woman recognizes Jesus as the Messiah, a title that the Jewish leaders vehemently denied; for she cried out, "Come, see a Prayer of Manasseh , which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?" ( John 4:29)

Note also how Jesus spoke to her in a way that captured her attention, for to a thirsty woman at the well, Jesus revealed Himself as a well of water springing up into everlasting life ( John 4:14). In other words, He spoke to the woman using language and illustrations that she could relate to and understand.

John 4:14, "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

b) The Galileans Respond to His Calling ( John 4:43-54) - In John 4:43-54 we have the testimony of the people of Galilee. The author tells us how the Galileans received Jesus' ministry ( John 4:43-45). Then the author follows this statement with an illustration of the healing of the nobleman's son in Cana of Galilee ( John 4:46-54). Thus, these opening verses give us the setting and reason behind the miracle of the healing of the nobleman's Song of Solomon , just as John 4:1-3 serves an introductory statements for the story of the Samaritan Woman.

In verse 44, Jesus says that a prophet has no honour in his own country. Why did Jesus make such a statement: because He knew the hearts of the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and, thus, had to depart from Judea ( John 4:1-3), and Jesus said it because He was about to work a second miracle here in the region of Galilee, which was ethnically no longer a part of the Jewish nation as was Judea. The first miracle took place in Cana of Galilee where Jesus turned the water to wine. The second miracle is in this passage, where he healed the son of a nobleman, also in Cana. Jesus performed a miracle because He knew that except they see signs and wonders, they will not believe (verse 48). Therefore, Jesus came and performed miracles in Galilee so that many would believe in Him.

We see in this passage of Scripture that Jesus goes into Galilee (verse 43). This was the region where Jesus was raised from a child. Jesus says here that a prophet is not accepted in his own native place (verse 44). Jesus was referring to His rejection by those in Galilee. Because of his rejection in Cana, He had performed only one miracle in Galilee, when He turned the water to wine (verse 46). Jesus had performed many miracles while in Jerusalem (verse 45), and some of those of Galilee did receive Him.

Therefore, the purpose of this passage is to show the second miracle that Jesus performed in Galilee (verse 54). This passage in the Gospel of John clearly illustrates an underlying theme, which is the fact that Jesus came unto His own, and His own received Him not ( John 1:11).

i) The Galileans Respond to His Calling ( John 4:43-45) - John 4:43-45 tells us of how the Gentiles widely accepted the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. This passage is followed by the example of one Gentile being healed by Jesus Christ ( John 4:46-54).

Just as the story of the Samaritan woman opens with a reference to Jesus' rejection by the Jews ( John 4:1-3), so does the story of the healing of the nobleman's son open with a similar statement. For we read in John 4:44 Jesus declared that a prophet has no honor in His own country and that He was accepted by the Gentiles ( John 4:45).

ii) The Second Miracle: Healing of a Gentile ( John 4:46-54) - John 4:46-54 tells us the story of Jesus healing the nobleman's son. This is the second healing testimony that John records in his Gospel. This story serves as a testimony of the acceptance by the Gentiles of Jesus' ministry. More importantly, this miracle testifies of the aspect of our spiritual journey called justification through faith in Christ. This is why Jesus says unless they see signs and wonders, they would not believe in Him ( John 4:47), and why this passage of Scripture says that the man and his whole believed once they realized it was a miracle ( John 4:53).

C. The Third Miracle ( John 5:1-47) (Justification) (The Four-Fold Testimony: Jesus Testifies that All Witnesses Point to Him as the One who bring Justification to Mankind) - The emphasis of John 5:1-47 is Jesus' testimony of His justification by God the Father as the Son of God, and of man's justification through faith in Him. At the third feast of the Jews Jesus heals the man at the Pool of Bethesda ( John 5:1-18). The healing of the lame man testifies of Jesus' justification by God when He publically calls God His Father. With this third miracle, Jesus had an opportunity to declare to the Jews His deity through His own testimony as well as the four-fold testimonies of John the Baptist, His works, God the Father, and the Scriptures ( John 5:19-47). In first major confrontation with the Jewish leaders about this miracle, He calls for men to believe in Him as the Son of God by testifying of Himself, and through the four-fold testimony of John the Baptist, of His miracles, of the Father, and of the Old Testament Scriptures. These testimonies reveal man's need for justification through faith in Him, which is the underlying theme of John 5:1-47. It is through God the Father we have been given the four-fold testimonies by which man must believe unto salvation. Our response to this third miracle is to believe the four-fold witness of Jesus' divinity as a result of our faith in Jesus Christ. If we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, we will embrace this four-fold testimony that justifies His divinity.

Here is a suggested outline:

1. The Third Miracle: The Healing at the Pool of Bethesda ( John 5:1-18) - The third miracle that John records in His Gospel is the healing of the lamb man by the Pool of Bethesda. John 5:1-18 is similar to John 2:12-22 in the fact that Jesus' miracles gave Jesus an opportunity to testify of His deity. Both John 2:12-22 and John 5:1-18 also show Jesus" rejection by the Jews in Jerusalem. This secondary theme of Jesus" rejection by the Jews is woven into the more dominant theme that Jesus is the Son of God, the "I Am."

2. Jesus' Testimony to the Jews: the Four-Fold Witness of His Deity ( John 5:19-47) - The story of the healing of the man at the Pool of Bethesda brings a challenge from the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem as to Jesus' authority to work miracles on the Sabbath. Therefore, in John 5:19-47 Jesus Christ replies to this challenge from the Jewish leaders by testifying of the four-fold witness to His deity that gives Him the authority over the Sabbath, and allows Him to call God His Father. Within this four-fold testimony Jesus declares that the Jewish leaders had rejected John the Baptist' testimony of Christ, that they had rejected the witness of His miracles, that they had rejected the voice of the Father from heaven at His baptism, and that they had rejected the testimony of the Scriptures concerning the Messiah. Jesus places the most emphasis on the testimony of Scriptures, since this is the area that the Jews spent the most time searching. Therefore, with each witness, He condemns the Jews; thus, vindicating Himself, and condemning the Jews.

a) Jesus Testifies of Himself ( John 5:19-31) - John 5:19-31 give us Jesus' defense of His authority to heal on the Sabbath based on His Sonship with the Father. Since the Jews were rejecting His own testimony, Jesus gives them four additional testimonies to support His claim to divinity in the passage that follows ( John 5:31-47).

b) The Testimony of John the Baptist ( John 5:32-35) - John 5:31-35 gives us Jesus' defense of His authority to heal on the Sabbath based on the testimony of John the Baptist.

c) The Testimony of Jesus' Works ( John 5:36) - John 5:36 gives us Jesus' defense of His authority to heal on the Sabbath based on the testimony of His works, which were His miracles.

d) The Testimony of the Father ( John 5:37-38) - In John 5:37-38 Jesus gives the Jews a third witness as to His deity, that of God the Father.

e) The Testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures ( John 5:39-47) - John 5:39-47 gives us Jesus' defense of His authority to heal on the Sabbath and call God His Father based upon the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures.

D. The Fourth Miracle ( John 6:1-71) (Indoctrination) (Jesus Testifies that He is the Source of the True Doctrine of God) - During the time of the second Jewish Passover, Jesus performed His fourth miracle of feeding the five thousand, which provided Him the opportunity to reveal Himself to Israel as the "Bread of Life." During His explanation of the manna in the wilderness that fed the children of Israel for forty years, He revealed Himself as the true bread that comes from Heaven. From this Revelation , we understand the believer's need to daily partake of the Word of God in the phase of redemption called indoctrination ( John 6:1-71). As the children of Israel gathered manna each day, so are God's children asked to partake of God's Word for spiritual food and strength during their spiritual journey in this life. As a believer partakes of the Word of God during the phase of indoctrination, he grows in the knowledge of God's plan for his life.

John 6:1-71 can be divided into four subsections. Jesus feeds the five thousand ( John 6:1-15), He walks on the water ( John 6:16-21), He testifies to the people that He is the Bread of Life ( John 6:22-59), then the disciples respond to His teaching ( John 6:60-71). The underlying emphasis in this passage of Scripture is the need to partake of God's Word on a daily basis as a part of the believer's fellowship and communion with Jesus Christ, hearing His voice that guides him daily, and spending time in His Word, which is the part of our spiritual journey that we call indoctrination.

Here is a suggested outline:

1. The Feeding of the Five Thousand: The Testimony of Indoctrination by the Holy Spirit (Fourth Miracle) ( John 6:1-15) - In John 6:1-15 we find the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand. Jesus will later use this miracle to testify to His disciples and to the Jews in John 6:22-71 that He Himself is the true bread of life that comes from Heaven. This bread of life that Jesus offers refers to our daily need to partake of His Word. Therefore, this miracle testifies to the part of our spiritual journey called Indoctrination, which follows the previous section in John's Gospel ( John 5:1-47) emphasizing justification through faith in Jesus Christ.

2. Jesus Walking on the Water ( John 6:16-21) - John 6:16-21 records the story of Jesus walking on the water to deliver the disciples in the midst of a storm. While this miracle is not numbered as one of the seven miracles, or signs, that shape the literary structure of the Gospel of John , 93] it does plays an important role in the overall narrative story in which it is embedded. This "interlude," as Ksterberger describes it, 94] is placed within the lengthy narrative section of John 6:1-71 in which Jesus feeds the five thousand, then reveals Himself as the Bread of Life. The story of Jesus walking on the water serves as a testimony of Jesus' love for them and how the faith of these few disciples becomes further anchored in Jesus as the Son of God in anticipation of the drama that unfolds the next day when many disciples are offended at Jesus and forsake Him. The disciples that were in the boat were going to have one of the most important decisions of their lives thrust upon them the next day, being forced to choose whether to abandon Jesus and follow the crowds, or to risk increasing persecutions by following Jesus and His teachings. While struggling to comprehend His new teaching as the Bread of Life, a message that offended many people, some of the disciples choose to follow their heart and continue with Him. Thus, the story of Jesus walking on the water prepares the readers for the narrative story of how many disciples forsook Jesus, while a few chose to follow Him. It was Jesus' demonstration of love for them that established their faith in Him, and not the miracles themselves. John the apostle acknowledges the love that Jesus had for this disciples when he writes, "having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end." ( John 13:1)

93] Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 204.

94] Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 196.

3. Jesus Testifies of His Deity: The Bread of Life ( John 6:22-59) - In John 6:22-71 Jesus declares Himself to be the Bread of Life to a people who were hungry for physical bread ( John 6:26). He invites the people to partake of His flesh and blood as the Living Bread from Heaven. Jesus explains how the phrase "eating His flesh and drinking His blood" reflects the believer's role of partaking of Him as the Word of God. That Isaiah , we dwell and walk in His Word as He speaks to us daily through communion with Him. Jesus illustrates this divine truth by teaching the people about the manna in the wilderness, which the people gathered daily to sustain them during their forty-year journey through the wilderness. Jesus also referred to the manna in the wilderness during His temptation, saying, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." ( Matthew 4:4, Luke 4:4) The manna symbolized the daily Word that God gives every believer who seeks him; thus, the emphasis upon indoctrination in this section of John's Gospel. Our response to this fourth miracle is to abide in Him through daily communion and in His Word, which we are to believe and obey, as a result of our faith in Jesus Christ. If we believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, we will partake of His Word daily.

John 6:56, "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him."

Matthew 4:4, "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

From a natural perspective, man's physical needs far outweigh his spiritual needs. However, Jesus is teaching that just the opposite is true. Man's most important needs are met in life, not by pursuing his physical and emotional needs, but by pursuing God first. It is difficult to refocus in life and turn loose of one's efforts to meet apparent physical needs and begin to use one's energy to reach out to God and spend time with Him in communion. Yet, this is what Jesus was asking His disciples to do by offering Himself as the Bread of Life, the source of man's communion with God. In John 6:22-59 Jesus asks the disciples to walk in daily communion with Him, to entrust one's physical care in this life to divine provision. Man must look beyond his own physical needs and reach out to God, who alone can meet his spiritual needs; then, every other aspect of a man's life will find its proper order and priority.

4. The Response from the Disciples ( John 6:60-71) - In John 6:60-71 the disciples of Jesus respond to His teaching. They had listened to Him teach in the synagogue in Capernaum and had dialogued with Him about His declaration that He was the Bread of Life. Most of these disciples were offended at these words, not being able to accept the fact that Jesus was God manifested in the flesh.

The disciples who helped to distribute the loaves and fishes to the five thousand felt proud that day as they embarked into the boat to return to Capernaum. The popularity of Jesus had been growing as the people saw the miracles that He performed. The multitudes began to follow Him and listen to His teachings. However, popularity is a shallow foundation upon which to build one's loyalty and God the Father saw that it was necessary to shatter this unhealthy foundation for the benefit of the disciples, causing many of them to depart forever, but leaving a few devoted ones to receive greater revelations of His deity while mixed with persecutions. Although many disciples were about to stumble at Jesus' declaration of His divinity, a few disciples remained whom God could now lead into a deeper commitment, a deeper level of faith and trust in Him. As the multitudes abandoned Jesus and His teachings following the popular consensus, a few followed their heart and stood with Jesus. What made the difference between these two types of disciples was not the miracle of feeding the five thousand, but of Jesus coming to rescue them in the midst of the storm ( John 6:16-21), of seeing how much He truly loved and cared for them in their greatest need. It is this type of God that men will serve, a God who cares for them. Only His closest disciples were rescued by Jesus walking on the water. The day after this miracle, these particular disciples would be standing alone with Jesus in the synagogue in Capernaum, watching many others walk away, disillusioned by this new revelation of Jesus' divinity. These few disciples stood by the one who genuinely loved them. It was necessary for their faith to become firmly established in the love of Jesus to order to face the life of a true disciple of Christ. Thus, the miracle of Jesus walking on the water ( John 6:16-21) served to anchor their soul in their growing faith and devotion to Jesus Christ as the Son of God, thus, preparing them for a deeper walk with Jesus.

E. The Fifth Miracle ( John 7:1 to John 10:21) (Divine Service) (Jesus Testifies that He is the Source of True Life in Serving God) - At the Feast of Tabernacles in John 7:1 to John 10:21, while teaching in the Temple Jesus reveals a new aspect of His divinity which emphasizes the next phrase of man's spiritual journey, revealing man's redemptive need to follow Jesus in divine service. At the wedding feast, Jesus alluded to His predestined time of Passion and atonement through the shedding of His blood for a new and better covenant ( John 2:1-11). Jesus next revealed Himself to Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman as He who has been called and sent by God as the Saviour of the World ( John 2:12 to John 4:54). Jesus then reveals the four-fold testimony of John the Baptist, His miracles, God the Father, and the Old Testament Scriptures, who have justified Jesus Christ as the Son of God ( John 5:1-47). Jesus revealed Himself as the Bread of Life by which mankind partakes through the Word of God and daily communion with Him ( John 6:1-71), a revelation that reflects man's need for indoctrination during his spiritual journey. John 7:1 to John 10:21 now reveals various aspects of Jesus' divinity that reflect Him in divine service leading God's people. Jesus now offers Himself as the Living Water through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit who has come to dwell in every believer ( John 7:37-39) so that God's children can walk in the light of divine leadership, being enlightened in the spirit of man. Proverbs 20:27 says, "The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly." Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus is the Light of the World ( John 8:12), who shepherds every man who is filled with the Holy Spirit as He guides him into eternal life ( John 10:14). Thus, this passage of Scripture places emphasis upon the role of divine service that Jesus offers those who follow Him, leading men to the final goal of glorification emphasized in the next section ( John 10:22 to John 11:54), our resurrection and glorification with Him in Heaven.

One of the prerequisites in divine service for every child of God is to be filled with the Holy Spirit, an invitation that Jesus gives in John 7:37-39. Jesus then reveals Himself as "the Light of the world" ( John 8:12), the "Door of the sheepfold" ( John 10:1), and the "Good Shepherd" ( John 10:14). Jesus Himself fulfills His divine service when He tells the Jews that He was sent from God to do His will ( John 7:16-18; John 7:28-29; John 7:33) and that He seeks to glorify the Father ( John 8:50). He asks the people to pursue this same role of divine service by continuing in His Word ( John 8:31-32). It is through the illumination of God's Word by the Holy Spirit that we walk in the light of God's plan and divine calling for our individual lives through His divine protection and provision. Leading up to His fifth miracle of healing the blind man ( John 9:1-7), Jesus testifies of His divine calling by declaring Himself as the Light of the World, saying, "I am the light of the world." ( John 8:12) Jesus has also been called to serve as the Great Shepherd, as the One who guides in eternal life on earth as well as in Heaven. After the miracle of healing the blind Prayer of Manasseh , Jesus testified that He was the "Door of the sheepfold" ( John 10:1), and the "Good Shepherd" ( John 10:14). This miracle and Jesus' subsequent testimonies of His deity reflect the believer's need to follow Jesus in divine service. Our response to this fifth miracle is to serve Jesus Christ and follow Him as our Light and Shepherd as a result of our faith in Jesus Christ. If we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, we will be filled with the Holy Spirit ( John 7:38-39) to empower us to follow Him in divine service.

The Feast of Tabernacles celebrates the beginning of Israel's wanderings in the wilderness. The motifs of living water, guidance by light under the shepherding of Moses are all used by Jesus to declare various aspects of His deity that reflect these Old Testament typologies. The Living Water Motif- With these wanderings God provided the rock from which flowed fresh, "living" water; that Isaiah , clear, unpolluted water. Paul refers to this water in his epistle to the Corinthians, "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." ( 1 Corinthians 10:4) The Feast of Tabernacles culminated on the eighth and final day as a day of rejoicing before the Jewish pilgrims returned to their homes. With the meaning of this feast in mind along with the fact that these people are about to take a long journey home, Jesus cried out that He the Living Water that the Israelites partook of when Moses struck the rock in their wilderness journeys. The Light Motif- In addition, as the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, God guided His children. This event may be reflected in Jesus as the Light of the world. 95] The Shepherd Motif- The shepherd motif is also seen in Israel's wilderness journey. Moses has been a shepherd for forty years with his rod. As Moses guided the Israelites through the wilderness with his rod like a good shepherd, and set up their encampment to go in and out each night and day, so does Jesus as our Shepherd guide us in and out of the door of our encampment. Thus, Jesus was trying to relate to them by the events that the children of Israel encountered during their wilderness journey.

95] Andreas Kösterberger says, "Together with the manna (ch 6) and the rivers of living water (ch 7), the reference to Jesus as "light" in chapter 8 may be part of a ‘wilderness theme," alluding to God's presence with the Israelites as a pillar of fire." Andreas J. Kösterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 253.

Here is a suggested outline:

1. Jesus Testifies of His Deity: His Doctrine ( John 7:1-36) - John 7:1-36 reveals very clearly the rejection that Jesus dealt with during His ministry. His brothers mocked His ministry ( John 7:1-10) and the Jews rejected His doctrine ( John 7:11-36); for we find in John 7:11-36 how Jesus testified of His deity through the doctrine that He taught and was accused of having a demon. This passage of Scripture emphasizes His doctrine that those who receive might follow Him into the further revelations revealed later at this feast ( John 7:16; John 7:35).

a) The Unbelief of Jesus' Brothers ( John 7:1-9) - Each of the major sections of John's Gospel mentions Jesus' rejection by the Jewish community, and this is the emphasis that we find in John 7:1-9. This passage of Scripture tells us about the unbelief from his brothers ( John 7:2-9) as well as the increasing animosity of the Jewish leaders ( John 7:1). Although two of His brothers would later write the epistles of James and Jude , with James becoming the first pastor over the church in Jerusalem, they were not convinced of His deity until probably after the resurrection.

b) Jesus Offers His Doctrine to the Jews ( John 7:10-36) - In John 7:10-36 Jesus offers His doctrine to the Jews. Although it is rejected by many of them, He continues to reveal great revelations of Himself in this feast for those who do believe in Him.

2. Jesus Testifies of His Deity: The Living Water ( John 7:37 to John 8:1) - In John 7:37 to John 8:1 Jesus Christ testifies of His deity by revealing Himself as the Living Water ( John 7:37-39). The Feast of Tabernacles celebrated Israel's wanderings in the wilderness and God's divine provision. With these wanderings God provided the rock from which flowed fresh, "living" water, or clear, unpolluted water. Paul refers to this water in his epistle to the Corinthians John 10:4, "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."

This festival culminated on the eighth and final day as a day of rejoicing before the pilgrims returned to their homes. With the meaning of this feast in mind along with the fact that these people are about to take a long journey home, Jesus cried out that He was that Rock, that Living Water that the Israelites partook of in their wilderness journeys. For those who accepted His doctrine in John 7:1-36, Jesus offers the true living water, the infilling of the Holy Spirit ( John 7:37-39).

3. Jesus Testifies of His Deity: The Light of the World ( John 8:2-59) - In John 8:2-59 Jesus is in the Temple teaching the Word of God. The Feast of Tabernacles ended the day before and may people were still in Jerusalem. There in the Temple, the scribes and the Pharisees tempt Jesus to break the Law of Moses. Thus, Jesus declares Himself as the Light of the World ( John 8:12), which, according to John 8:12, requires men to follow Him as the source of instruction and guidance. This testimony follows Jesus' testimony of His deity by the doctrine that He teaches ( John 7:1-36) and precedes the miracle of Jesus opening the eyes of the blind man ( John 9:1-34), which both have relevance to light, symbolizing man's need to walk daily in God's Word and fellowship with Jesus Christ. However, this light is revealed to the inner man through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit ( John 7:37 to John 8:1), for the natural man cannot understand the things of God since they are spiritually discerned ( 1 Corinthians 2:14).

1 Corinthians 2:14, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

In this section of the Gospel, we have the story of the woman who was caught in adultery ( John 8:2-11) and the confrontational testimony of Jesus Christ to the Jewish leaders ( John 8:12-59).

a) The Woman Caught in Adultery ( John 8:2-11) - John 8:2-11 tells us of the story of the woman caught in adultery. This event takes place the day after the Feast of Tabernacles. There in the Temple, the scribes and the Pharisees tempt Jesus to break the Law of Moses by presenting to Him a woman who was caught in adultery and should be stoned according to the Law of Moses.

b) Jesus Testifies to the Jewish Leaders ( John 8:12-59) - Perhaps the most confrontational event in John's Gospel outside of the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus Christ is His debate with the Jewish leaders in the Temple on the day after the Feast of Tabernacles ( John 8:12-59). In this passage, Jesus Christ declares Himself to be the Light of the World ( John 8:12), which, according to John 8:31-32, is figurative for Jesus enlightening men to an understanding in God"s Word so that they can walk as Jesus walks, in freedom from sin. This declaration by Jesus follows the testimony of His doctrine that He teaches ( John 7:1-36) and it precedes the miracle of Jesus opening the eyes of the blind man ( John 9:1-34), which both have relevance to Jesus as the Light of the Word, both in the figurative meaning as the understanding of divine doctrine and in the literally meaning of physical eyesight for the man that was healed.

The claim made by Jesus that He is the Light of the World ( John 8:12) evokes a challenge by the Jews for Him to prove His testimony ( John 8:13). Jesus does so using their own Law to offer two witnesses ( Deuteronomy 19:15), that of Himself and of the Father ( John 8:14-18). The Jews respond to Jesus by asking Him to identify the Father ( John 8:19). Jesus responds with the the claim that He came forth from the Father and He is returning to Him ( John 8:21-27). He offers the Jews proof of this claim by telling them to that the miracle of the Crucifixion and Resurrection will support this claim when Jesus returning to the Father ( John 8:28-29).

Deuteronomy 19:15, "One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established."

Jesus continues to teach those who had opened their heart to His words by believing in Him ( John 8:30). He now explains how they can walk in the revelation of Jesus as the Light of the World, which is by walking in His Word. Those who continue in His Word follow the Father and will have eternal life ( John 8:31-36), while those who reject this revelation will continue to follow the devil and perish in their sins ( John 8:37-47). When the Jews rejected this teaching, Jesus responded by revealing His pre-incarnate existence with Abraham ( John 8:48-58), only to be rejected by them ( John 8:59).

4. The Fifth Miracle: The Testimony of Our Divine Service in Christ ( John 9:1 to John 10:21) - John 9:1-34 gives us the fifth miracle that John records in his Gospel. It is the story of the healing of a blind and his interrogation by the Jewish leaders. This is followed by the testimony of Jesus Christ to the Jews that He is the Good Shepherd whom men should follow ( John 9:35 to John 10:21). The emphasis in this passage of Scripture is on Jesus guiding God's children into divine service, a motif recognized among scholars. 96]

96] In his sermon on John 9:4 entitled "The Gifts to the Flock," Alexander MacLaren interprets the metaphor of "going in and out" to describe man's two-fold relationship to God. He says, "The one side is the contemplative life of interior union with God by faith and love; the other, the active life of practical obedience in the field of work which God provides for us." See Alexander MacLaren, The Gospel According to St. John chapters IX to XIV, in Expositions of Holy Scripture (New York: A. C. Armstrong and Song of Solomon , 1908), 29.

a) The Fifth Miracle: The Healing of a Blind Man ( John 9:1-34) - John 9:1-34 gives us the fifth miracle that John records in his Gospel. It is the story of the healing of a blind and his interrogation by the Jewish leaders. This is followed by the testimony of Jesus Christ to the Jews that He is the Good Shepherd whom men should follow ( John 9:35 to John 10:21). Jesus healed this man not because he believed in Jesus, but because Jesus was sent by the Father to manifest the works of God. Thus, Jesus was manifesting His calling of serving the Father by healing him. This miracle testifies of our need to obey Jesus Christ as He sends us out to serve Him during our spiritual journey, which reflects the part of our spiritual journey designated "calling." The word "Siloam" means "sent."

Why does the Gospel of John give such a lengthy story of one man's healing? The key verses to this answer are in John 10:26-27. This healing glorified God and it bore witness of Jesus having come from God. However, the false sheep would not believe. Most of chapter 9 involved a discussion carried on by unbelieving Pharisees in order to show us how to recognize false believers. They have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof ( 2 Timothy 3:5). Jesus began chapter 9 by saying in verse 3, "that the works of God should be made manifest in him." These two chapters show this exact thing happening during this lengthy story.

John 10:26, "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"

2 Timothy 3:5, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

b) Jesus Testifies of His Deity: The Good Shepherd ( John 9:35 to John 10:21) - John 9:35 to John 10:21 gives us the story of Jesus' testimony to the Jews of His deity by revealing Himself as the Good Shepherd. This testimony is the result of the events surrounding the controversy over the healing of the man who was born blind ( John 9:1-41). For those who accept the doctrine of Jesus Christ ( John 7:1-36), and partake of the Living Water, which is the Holy Spirit ( John 7:37 to John 8:1), and learn to walk in the light of God's Word ( John 8:2-59), for those Jesus is the Good Shepherd whom He protects and guides along the path of eternal life ( John 9:35 to John 10:21).

F. The Sixth Miracle ( John 10:22 to John 11:54) (Perseverance) (Jesus Testifies that He is the Source of Man's Future Hope of the Resurrection) - John 10:22 to John 11:57 records the sixth miracle of Jesus Christ that was used to bear witness of His deity, which was the raising of Lazarus from the dead. This miracle is unique to John's Gospel, not being recorded in the Synoptics. During the Feast of Dedication, emphasis is placed upon the perseverance of our faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. For example, this section in John's Gospel opens with the Jews saying to Jesus, "How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly." ( John 10:24). Thus, the Jews were not willing to endure Jesus' season of ministry as He repeatedly worked miracles and used those opportunities to declare Himself as the Son of God. In contrast, Martha makes a statement that reflects true, persevering faith, saying to Jesus, "Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee." ( John 11:21-22) Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead and declares Himself as the "Resurrection and the Life" for all mankind ( John 11:25), revealing man's need to persevere until his how glorification at his resurrection in his redemptive journey ( John 10:22 to John 11:54). This section in John's Gospel begins with Jesus' testimony of His deity based upon His works and miracles ( John 10:22-38). After the transition passage typical of each section in which Jesus withdraws Himself ( John 10:39-42), He performs the sixth miracle of the raising of Lazarus from the dead ( John 11:1-27). John usually records Jesus' testimony of His deity in relation to a miracle after performing this work. However, in this passage Jesus testifies of His deity as the Resurrection and the Life immediately before raising Lazarus from the dead ( John 11:1-27). He then performs this miracle ( John 11:28-44).

This miracle testifies of the part of our spiritual journey called perseverance. In this story of the raising of Lazarus we see Mary and Martha anxiously awaiting the return of Jesus Christ to their home so that their brother would not die. Jesus deliberately delayed His coming after hearing the news of this sickness so that He could perform this particular miracle of the resurrection of the dead so that they might believe in Him. Jesus waited until Lazarus had died so that He could testify that He Himself is the Resurrection and the Life. We, too, anxiously await the return of our Lord and Saviour, who will resurrect those who are dead in Christ and change our mortal bodies into immortality. It is through Christ we, too, will partake of our resurrection and eternal glorification. This miracle of the resurrection reflects the believer's future hope of glorification with the Father in Heaven. Our response to this sixth miracle is to place our hope in a future resurrection and eternal life as a result of our faith in Jesus Christ. If we believe in Jesus as the Son of God, we will put our hope in Him for our future resurrection and eternal glorification with Him in Heaven.

1. Jesus Testifies of His Deity: His Works ( John 10:22-42) - John 10:22-42 gives us Jesus' testimony of His deity based upon His works, which refers to His miracles in the previous passages of John's Gospel. Jesus makes five references to His works ( John 10:25; John 10:32; John 10:37-38) in this passage by opening His testimony with a reference to these works ( John 10:25).

2. The Sixth Miracle: The Testimony of Lazarus ( John 11:1-54) - The death of Lazarus provides Jesus an opportunity to reveal the final aspect of His divinity, the fact that He will resurrect from the dead to eternal life those who believe in Him. This miracle will incite the Jews who oppose Him to kill Jesus.

a) Jesus Testifies of His Deity: The Resurrection and Life ( John 11:1-27) - John 11:1-27 records Jesus' testimony of His deity as the Resurrection and the Life. Based upon His previous testimonies of His predestination, divine calling, justification, doctrine, and divine service, He must also be our resurrection and life. This testimony precedes the raising of Lazarus from the dead ( John 11:28-44).

b) The Sixth Miracle: The Raising of Lazarus ( John 11:28-44) - John 11:28-44 tells us the story of how Jesus Christ raised Lazarus from the dead, the sixth miracle that testifies of Jesus as our resurrection through faith in Him.

c) The Plot to Kill Jesus ( John 11:45-54) - John 11:45-54 tells us of how the plot to kill Jesus Christ intensifies after the raising of Lazarus from the dead.

G. The Seventh Miracle ( John 11:55 to John 20:29) (Glorification) (The Witness of the Old Testament Scriptures) - The seventh miracle is the miracle of the Resurrection, found in John 11:55 to John 20:29, which offers God's children the resurrection and future glorification. This passage of Scripture serves as the strongest testimony of the deity of Jesus Christ. Embedded within this seventh miracle narrative are seven events of Christ's Passion that were predicted in the Old Testament Scriptures. Each of these events is supported by Old Testament quotations declaring their fulfillment.

John 11:55 to John 20:29 offers nine references as a testimony that Jesus fulfilled Old Testament Scriptures ( John 12:13; John 12:15; John 12:38; John 12:40; John 13:18, John 15:25, John 19:24; John 19:36-37). These nine references are structured with two pairs, so that there are seven distinct Old Testament Scripture witnesses to the Passion of Jesus Christ. Although the first eleven chapters of John also make two references to Old Testament fulfillment ( John 1:23, John 2:17), these two statements do not serve the same structural role as the seven testimonies given in the last section of miracles. Therefore, this passage places much emphasis on the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy as a testimony to the deity of Jesus. After the first Old Testament prophecy, the author of John explains the importance of recording these testimonies from the Old Testament to testify that His Passion was a fulfillment of Scripture ( John 12:16).

John 12:16, "These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him."

Here is a proposed outline:

1. Prologue to the Last Passover ( John 11:55-57) - John 11:55-57 seems to be a prologue, which sets up the circumstances surrounding the final Passover in which Jesus Christ will crucified. It tells us that many people were in Jerusalem the week prior to the Passover and they were talking about whether Jesus Christ would manifest Himself again. They people had been instructed by the hostile Jewish leaders, whom everyone feared, to report any sightings of him. This is the atmosphere that is set for Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. The people wanted their king to appear and the Jewish leaders wanted Him dead.

2. The Anointing of Jesus at Bethany ( John 12:1-11) - John 12:1-11 tells us the story of how Mary anointed the feet of Jesus Christ and wiped them with her hair.

3. His Triumphant Entry and Last Public Appearance ( John 12:12-50) - John 12:12-50 records Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem and His last public appearance among the Jews before His Passion.

a) First Scripture Fulfilled: His Triumphant Entry ( John 12:12-19) - In John 12:12-19 John the apostle records the first Old Testament prophecy fulfilled during Jesus' Passion, which is the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem.

b) Jesus Testifies of Glorification ( John 12:20-36) - John 12:20-36 records the story of how some of the Greeks who were in Jerusalem during the Passover requested to see Jesus. He responded, not with a quick welcome and acceptance to their request, but rather, with a final testimony to the Jews that He would now be lifted up. This is the testimony of His glorification. For the hope of the Greeks and other Gentiles was not a meeting with Jesus, but rather, His glorification. Thus, a key verse in this passage of Scripture is Jesus' comment regarding His glorification ( John 12:23).

c) Second Scripture Fulfilled: Rejection by the Jews ( John 12:37-41) - In John 12:37-41 John the apostle records the second Old Testament prophecy fulfilled during Jesus' Passion, which predicted His rejection by the Jews. This is one of many passages found throughout the Gospel of John that points out His rejection by His own nation.

d) Jesus' Last Testimony: The Light of the World ( John 12:42-50) - John 12:42-50 gives us the last public testimony of Jesus Christ to the Jews before His Passion. In this passage, Jesus tells the Jews that He is the Light of the World.

4. The Last Supper ( John 13:1 to John 17:26) - John 13:1 to John 17:26 gives us the story of the Last Supper between Jesus and His twelve apostles in which the Lord gives a lengthy discourse to prepare His disciples for His departure. During this discourse Jesus will explain how His Passion will be a fulfillment of two Old Testament prophecies. Otherwise, the theme of the contents of His teachings is about His departure and glorification in order to prepare His disciples for the things that are about to take place.

Although this event is recorded in all four Gospels, John gives us the longest account. Matthew and Mark record the partaking of communion and Jesus' comments of His betrayal, His crucifixion and Peter's denial. Luke tells the same, but adds the dispute among His disciples of who will be the greatest. However, the account in John's Gospel is unique in that it gives us a lengthy discourse of Jesus preparing the disciples for His departure during this meal, while omitting the details of the bread and the wine. He first washes the disciples' feet, and then tells them of the coming of the Holy Spirit, in whom they were to abide and that He would work through them to do the same works that He had been doing. Jesus testifies to them of His deity using figurative language ( John 16:25) such as the Way, the Truth, the Life and as the True Vine. Jesus also discusses His betrayal, His departure and glorification. He tells them that He has spoken these things in order that they continue in His joy and not stumble ( John 13:17; John 14:25; John 15:11; John 15:17; John 15:21; John 16:1; John 16:4; John 16:6; John 16:25; John 16:33; John 17:13). This event ends with Jesus' prayer to the Father. In these chapters the author records two Old Testament Scriptures that are fulfilled during Jesus' Passion.

Jesus understood that these were the last moments that He was to have with His disciples. He knew that they were going to have to focus their attention from being led by Him to being led by the Holy Spirit. Thus, in John 13-16 we see Jesus attempting to introduce them for the first time to the person of the Holy Spirit, someone that they had seen at work in the life of their Lord, but someone whom they had not experienced for themselves.

In the business world we call this event a "handover," when one manager over a business or a ministry hands the leadership over to another. In order to accomplish this task, Jesus uses simple, figurative language that they would understand in order to explain the character of the Holy Spirit and the meaning of abiding and walking in the Spirit. Jesus explains to them what it is like to fellowship with the Holy Spirit by comparing it to their experiences of walking with Him. Jesus' goal in this final discourse is to bring His disciples to a place of doing the works that He Himself has been doing. In order to do this, they must learn to receive the Holy Spirit, to abide in the Spirit and to be led by the Spirit. Thus, His teachings to them follow an order, or procedure, in order to do the works of God.

Jesus first washes their feet as a foreshadowing of His future office as our Great High Priest ( John 13:1-17). Jesus Christ is about to ascend to the right hand of the Heavenly Father and enter into this office where He will continually intercede for the saints in order to maintain their right standing before God. He will pay for our sins on Calvary so that we might be justified before God the Father. Then He will be our High Priest in order to keep us right before God through our daily cleansing. John then records the betrayal of one disciple ( John 13:18-30) and the failure of another ( John 13:31-38) as an example of everyone's need for daily cleansing. While Judas Iscariot did not repent and soon killed himself, Peter did repent and God used this experience to make him stronger. These two events served as an excellent example within the context of this passage in which to teach on the need of Jesus as our High Priest. Jesus then explains to them the coming of the Holy Spirit ( John 14:1-27), who would take the place of Jesus Christ as their "other Comforter" and as the One who is to guide them after His departure. Thus, Jesus refers to Him also as the "Spirit of Truth," because of His immediately role as a Teacher and Guide ( John 16:12-13). This is why Jesus explains the need for the Holy Spirit when reminding them of His departure ( John 14:28-31). After the Holy Spirit comes and fills the disciples, as we see in the book of Acts , they must learn how to stay filled. Thus, Jesus teaches them in John 15:1-17 how to abide in Him in order to bear fruit. Such a lifestyle of walking in love and testifying of Him will lead to persecutions ( John 15:18 to John 16:4). He then tells them the work of the Spirit as they preach the Gospel ( John 16:5-15). Jesus then tells them of their authority in prayer within the conversation of His departure ( John 16:16-33). When the disciples finally acknowledged their understanding of this teaching, Jesus ends His discourse with them and commends them unto the God by praying to the Father ( John 17:1-26). This commendation is the "handover." This handover will be completed on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit comes and fills the believers. Thus, Jesus explains to His disciples the present-day office and ministry of the Trinity to the Church in John 13-17.

A major change was about to take place in the Trinity. Jesus, who had been the Word of God from eternity, and has presently been our Apostle sent to earth, was not going to move into the office of our Great High Priest. The Holy Spirit was about to leave Heaven and indwell every believer. The Father would continue in His role as the eternal God who knows and predestines the redemption of mankind.

a) The Song of Solomon - Jesus Foreshadows His Upcoming Office as Our Great High Priest ( John 13:1-38) - The message of John 13:1-17 is often understood to be about humility and servanthood because Jesus washes the feet of the disciples. However, a symbolic message is also taught by Jesus during this time of footwashing beside humility. Jesus Christ is about to ascend to the right hand of the Heavenly Father and enter into the office of our Great High Priest where He will continually intercede for the saints in order to maintain their right standing before God. He will pay for our sins on Calvary so that we might be justified before God the Father. Then He will be our High Priest in order to keep us right before God through our daily cleansing. This is two-fold office and ministry of Jesus Christ in our redemption. When Jesus says, "He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit" ( John 13:10), He is referring to our initial justification through faith in Christ and our need for daily cleansing of sins. When Jesus tells Peter, "What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter," ( John 13:7) He means that Peter will soon understand His ministry as our Great High Priest for our daily cleansing. Peter will refer to this daily cleansing in 1 Peter 1:2 as the "sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." The writer of Hebrews also uses a similar phrase, "the blood of sprinkling," in order to explain Jesus' present-day office as our Great High Priest.

Hebrews 12:24, "And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel."

1 Peter 1:2, "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied."

John will follow this story of footwashing with accounts of sin in the lives of two of His disciples. Judas Iscariot yielded to Satan and went out to betray his Master ( John 13:18-30), and in the following passage Jesus foretells of Peter's three-fold denial of his Master ( John 13:31-38). These two stories are placed side by side within the context of our need for daily cleansing because it gives us an illustration of one disciple who did not seek his cleansing and died, while the other found cleansing and went on to become a great servant of the Lord.

A secondary theme taught in this passage is that discipleship is accomplished through servanthood and He illustrates servanthood by washing the feet of His disciples ( John 13:1-17). He then explains to them that a servant is not greater than his master. This lesson teaches them that humility is the first step towards doing the works of Jesus. However, this is a minor theme the passage of Scripture and is addressed in Luke 22:24-27.

This section in John 13:1-38 that foreshadows Jesus' coming office as our Great High Priest is followed by the discourse on the coming of the Holy Spirit as our Comforter to take the place of Jesus when He departs to Heaven.

i) Jesus Teaches on His Impending High Priesthood: Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet ( John 13:1-17) - John 13:1-17 gives us the unique account of Jesus washing the disciples' feet, which was to serve as a testimony of His impending office as their Great High Priest. However, the message of humility and servanthood can also be seen in this passage of Scripture. We can see in this passage of Scripture how Jesus demonstrates servanthood to His disciples by washing their feet. He taught on this subject of servanthood in Luke's account of the Last Supper because His disciples were striving about who should be exalted in this new kingdom ( Luke 22:24-27). The reason that Jesus began His lengthy discourse on servanthood in Luke's Gospel was to show them that they must become a servant in order to serve in their roles as leaders in the New Testament Church, which will begin on the day of Pentecost with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. These twelve apostles must understand that they are servants of one another and not just of Jesus their Master. In serving they will be used mightily by God in His kingdom. However, the primary emphasis of John 13:1-17 is on the high priesthood of Jesus Christ, for the Gospel of John teaches us primarily about the deity of Jesus Christ.

Luke 22:24, "And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest."

ii) Two Examples of Sin and the need for Cleansing ( John 13:18-38) - John 13:18-38 offers two examples of sin the lives of Jesus' disciples. Within the context of Jesus teaching the disciples about His upcoming office as the Great High Priest, this passage offers an example of Judas Iscariot who failed to find forgiveness ( John 13:18-30) and Peter who received forgiveness from Jesus Christ ( John 13:31-38).

(1) Third Scripture Fulfilled: Betrayal Prophesied ( John 13:18-30) - In John 13:18-30 John the apostle records the third Old Testament prophecy fulfilled during Jesus' Passion. Jesus has just foreshadowed His coming office as our Great High Priest by washing the feet of the disciples. John 13:18-30 now gives us an example of how a disciple falls into sin and stands in need of daily cleansing. In addition, this passage in which Jesus will predict His betrayal by Judas Iscariot also serves as one of the seven Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled about Christ's Passion ( John 13:18).

(2) Peter's Denial Foretold ( John 13:31-38) - John 13:31-38 tells us the story of Jesus predicting Peter's denial. Jesus has just foreshadowed His coming office as our Great High Priest by washing the feet of the disciples. John 13:18-30 and John 13:31-38 now give us an example of how two disciples fell into sin and stood in need of daily cleansing. However, one of the disciples (Peter) obtained forgiveness, while the other (Judas Iscariot) found destruction.

b) The Holy Spirit: The Comforter ( John 14:1 to John 16:33) - In John 14:1 to John 16:33 Jesus teaches on the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the New Testament Church. He will come ( John 14:1-31), abide in us ( John 15:1 to John 16:4), and work through us to offer redemption to the world ( John 16:5-33).

i) The Coming of the Holy Spirit ( John 14:1-31) - The emphasis in John 14:1-31 is on the coming of the Holy Spirit, which has been made necessary because of Jesus' departure.

(1) The Other Comforter ( John 14:1-27) - The theme of John 14:1-27 is the coming of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus refers to as "another Comforter." This passage opens and closes with the phrase, "Let not your heart be troubled."

We may think that this is the first time that Jesus taught His disciples about the office and ministry of the Holy Spirit. However, we find two instances in Luke's Gospel where Jesus taught them about the work of the Spirit in their lives in their lives before His Passion.

Luke 11:13, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"

Luke 12:12, "For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say."

We often read John 14:1-3 as a reference to our eternal homes in heaven because of the phrase "My Father's house." However, the emphasis in John 14:1-27 is on the coming of the Holy Spirit as the "other Comforter" which comes to indwell every believer when Jesus departs. Thus, the passage in John 14:1-3 is actually referring to the presence of the Holy Spirit abiding within us so that we may abide with Jesus and the Father. Thus, the Father will now be in us and we in the Father. This is what Jesus means in these verses when He said that there are many mansions, or "abiding places," in the Father's house ( John 14:2), and that Jesus is departing in order to prepare these abiding places for us ( John 14:3).

(2) Jesus Discusses His Departure ( John 14:28-31) - In John 14:28-31 Jesus discusses His departure in order to emphasize the necessity of sending the Holy Spirit.

ii) Abiding in the Spirit ( John 15:1 to John 16:4) - The theme of John 15:1 to John 16:4 is abiding in the Holy Spirit. Once the disciples have learned to walk in humility and true servanthood ( John 13:1-38), and after receiving the infilling of the Holy Spirit ( John 14:1-31), they must learn how to abide in the Spirit before they can do the works of God. However, with this lifestyle of abiding in the Spirit there will come persecutions and hatred from the world.

(1) Jesus is the True Vine ( John 15:1-17) - In John 15:1-17 Jesus teaches the disciples about His departure. In order to help them understand their relationship with Him after His departure, He speaks of Himself figuratively as the True Vine and they are likened to the branches. Jesus describes Himself with a new name in this chapter, never before used until now. However, the underlying message is to teach His disciples how to abide in the Holy Spirit after His resurrection and departure. He does this by using the metaphor of a vine and its branches. Since Jesus has discussed the coming of the Holy Spirit in John 14:1-27, He must now teach them how to abide in Him once they have received Him.

In his book The Call Rick Joyner gives a good explanation of the meaning of this passage, "Your words will have this power when you abide in Me," Wisdom interjected. "I did not call you to preach about Me; I called you to be a voice that I could speak through. As you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will bear fruit that will remain. By My word, the creation was brought forth, and by My word the new creation will come forth in you and in My people. My words are Spirit and Life. My words give Life. You are not called to just teach about Me, but to let Me teach through you. As you dwell in My presence, your words will be My words, and they will have power." 97]

97] Rick Joyner, The Call (Charlotte, North Carolina: Morning Star Publications, 1999), 176.

The best example of the principle of abiding in Christ can be found in the Garden of Eden, where Abraham communed with God each day, and laboured in the Garden as an overflow of His love for God.

(2) Fourth Scripture Filled: Hatred from the World ( John 15:18 to John 16:4) - In John 15:18 to John 16:4 John the apostle records the fourth Old Testament prophecy fulfilled during Jesus' Passion. Jesus prepares the disciples for His departure by telling them about the hatred of the world being a fulfillment of prophecy. This hatred will be experienced by His disciples when they learn how to abide in the vine ( John 15:1-17). As we abide in Him and go forth to produce fruit, we face certain persecutions from the world. As we testify the name of Jesus, the world will certainly hate us.

iii) The Work of the Spirit ( John 16:5-33) - After Jesus has taught His disciples about servanthood ( John 13:1-38), and the need to receive the Holy Spirit when He comes ( John 14:1-31), and how to abide in the Spirit ( John 15:1 to John 16:4). If they will be obedient to His teachings thus far, they will be ready to do the works that Jesus did. This is the theme of John 16:5-33.

(1) Convicting the World of Sin ( John 16:5-15) - In order to do the works that Jesus did, the disciples must preach the Gospel. In preaching the Gospel, the Holy Spirit must come and empower them to do this great work. As they preach, the Spirit will convict the world of sin, and perform signs and wonders to testify of the truth of the Gospel.

(2) The Authority of the Believer: Jesus Testifies of His Departure More Clearly ( John 16:16-33) - In John 16:16-33 Jesus tells His disciples more about His departure. This passage is important in that we have a record of the confession of disciples' faith and understanding in the teachings of Jesus during the Lord's Supper ( John 16:29-30). Jesus acknowledges their faith and ends His teachings ( John 16:31-33). As a result of their understanding, Jesus realizes that He has accomplished His purpose of having this last supper and He turns to the Father in prayer ( John 17:1-26). Note Jesus' acknowledge to the Father during His prayer of their faith and understanding in Him.

John 17:8, "For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me."

c) The Father- Jesus Prays to the Father: Jesus Commends the Disciples unto the Father ( John 17:1-26) - When the disciples finally acknowledged their understanding of this teaching, Jesus ends His discourse with them and commends them unto the Lord by praying to the Father ( John 17:1-26). This commendation is the "handover" of His disciples to the Father, which handover will be completed on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit comes and fills the believers. The Jewish leaders believed that if they could kill Jesus as the leader of this little band of fanatics, then the disciples would scatter. The Romans had dismantled a number of similar bands of zealous Jews in the past, so the Jewish leaders believe that this would turn out no different. However, they were too late in seizing Jesus, for He had already handed His disciples over to the Father. Although the Holy Spirit would not be poured out until the day of Pentecost, so that there would be a period of transition, the disciples were safely entrusted into the care of the Father, and the procreation of the Kingdom of Heaven made sure. Jesus' physical presence upon earth no longer necessitated the growth of the Kingdom of Heaven, for the disciples would now become "little Christs," anointed by the Holy Spirit to continue what Jesus simply began.

After the disciples acknowledge their faith and understanding in Jesus' teachings to prepare them for His Passion at the Last Supper, He then turns to the Father in prayer. He will now continue in this attitude of prayer until His death on the Cross.

i) Jesus Prays to the Father: Jesus Prays for His Own Glorification ( John 17:1-5) - The emphasis in John 1:1-5 is Jesus praying for the restoration of His glory with the Father that was with Him in the beginning. Simply said, Jesus is praying for His fellowship with His Father to be fully restored. Up until now we have only read in the four Gospels about Jesus retreating in privacy to pray unto the Father. Now, for the first time, we actually get a glimpse of this intimate relationship as Jesus prays to the Father. In John 17:1-26 the disciples were with Jesus Christ; so perhaps for the first time, they saw His intimacy with the Father. Jesus had loved His disciples until the end, but His ultimate love was for His Father. This is why in his last hours He retreated with His friends to the Last Supper. However, His last few minutes were spent with His Father, and not with His friends. It is this love that drove Jesus to the Cross, but it was the Father's love for the world that caused Him to send His Son to Calvary ( John 3:16). There is only room in a person's heart for one true "lover." All else are friends. Jesus loved His friends, who were the disciples, but He loved the Father more than them all. The Heavenly Father was His one true love. Jesus' love for His Father exceeded His love for all others. This is the passion that drove Jesus to do all that He did during His earthly ministry. It was a love that exceeded man's desire for women, similar to Jonathan's loved David ( 1 Samuel 1:26), for Jesus never pursued marriage. In the same sense, it is our love for God that drives us into Christian ministry, and this is what Paul meant when he said, "For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. For the love of Christ constraineth us," ( 2 Corinthians 5:13-14). In other words, Paul was saying, "Our love for Christ drives us to do what we do."

ii) Jesus Prays for the Glorification of His Disciples ( John 17:6-26) - In John 17:6-26 Jesus prays for the disciples and entrusts them into the hands of the Father. He asks the Father to recognize their faith in His Word ( John 17:6-11), for the Father to keep them ( John 17:11-16) and to sanctify them ( John 17:17-19) and that they may be one with Him and share His glory ( John 17:20-26). In a similar way Paul went through Asia Minor and entrusted his converts into the hands of God upon his departure from each city ( Acts 14:23).

Acts 14:23, "And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed."

5. Jesus' Betrayal and Arrest ( John 18:1-11) - John 18:1-13 gives us the account of Jesus' betrayal and arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. John's account of Jesus' betrayal and arrest leaves out Jesus' prayer in the Garden, while the Synoptic Gospels all record this prayer. Instead, John places emphasis upon the divine nature of Jesus. For example, John comments that Jesus "knew all things ( John 18:4). When Jesus spoke to the multitude, they all fell backwards ( John 18:6). Neither did John refer to the healing of Malchus' ear, but recorded His words to Peter regarding His Heavenly Father ( John 18:11).

6. Jesus' Trials ( John 18:1 to John 19:16 a) - In John 18:1 to John 19:16 a we have the account of Jesus standing before the High Priests and before Pilate. Peter denies Jesus three times while He stood before Annas and Caiaphas.

a) Jesus before the High Priest and Peter's three denials ( John 18:12-27) - John 18:12-27 tells us of Jesus' first trial before the high priest with Peter's three denials woven within this event.

b) Jesus before Pilate ( John 18:28 to John 19:16 a) - John 18:28 to John 19:16 a tells us the story of Jesus' second trial before Pontus Pilate at which time He was scourged. Matthew's Gospel adds the story of Judas Iscariot hanging himself ( Matthew 27:3-10) and Luke adds the account of Jesus before Herod ( Luke 23:6-12).

7. Jesus' Crucifixion and Burial ( John 19:16 b-42) - In John 19:16 b-42we have the account of Jesus' crucifixion and burial.

a) Jesus is Crucified ( John 19:16-22) - In John 19:16-22 we have Mark's account of the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ.

b) Fifth Scripture Fulfilled: Cast Lots for Garment ( John 19:23-24) - In John 19:23-24 John the apostle records the fifth Old Testament prophecy fulfilled during Jesus' Passion, which tells of the casting of lots for His garments.

c) Jesus' Mother at the Cross ( John 19:25-27) - In John 19:25-27 we have the record of Jesus handing over the care of His mother to John the apostle.

d) Jesus' Death ( John 19:28-30) - In John 19:28-30 we have the account of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.

e) Sixth Scripture Fulfilled: No Bones Broken ( John 19:31-36) - In John 19:31-36 John the apostle records the sixth Old Testament prophecy fulfilled during Jesus' Passion, which says that none of His bones would be broken.

f) Seventh Scripture Fulfilled: His Side Pierced- In John 19:37 John the apostle records the seventh Old Testament prophecy fulfilled during Jesus' Passion, which says His side would be pierced.

g) Jesus' Burial ( John 19:38-42) - In John 19:38-42 we have the account of the burial of Jesus Christ.

8. The Seventh Miracle: The Testimony of Our Glorification (The Jesus' Resurrection) ( John 20:1-29) - John 20:1-29 records the seventh and greatest miracle of Jesus earthly ministry, which is the story of His resurrection. This wonderful miracle testifies of our future glorification in which we will also put on immortality. This passage gives us four testimonies of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

a) Witnesses of Peter and John at the Tomb ( John 20:1-10) - John 20:1-10 tells us the story of Peter and John's witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

b) The Witness of Mary Magdalene at the Tomb ( John 20:11-18) - This passage of Scripture which tells us of Mary Magdalene's experience at the empty tomb of Jesus makes three references to the fact that she wept. Also within this short passage are the accounts of her having two divine visions. I believe that our tears have a tremendous impact upon the heart of God. I believe that it was Mary's tears that allowed her to be the recipient of the first appearance of the resurrected Savior. Note that the first words of the two angels and of Jesus to Mary were, "Woman, why are you weeping?" This tells us that her tears were foremost in their thoughts. It is as if her tears compelled Jesus to have a premature appearance before He was actually ascended to the Father to present His blood at the heavenly mercy seat; for later in John's Gospel Jesus will ask Thomas to touch Him.

c) The Witness of the Disciples ( John 20:19-23) - John 20:19-23 tells us the testimony of the rest of the disciples when Jesus appeared to them. In this passage of Scripture Jesus showed to them His pierced hands and His side ( John 20:20). This event would have showed the disciples that the redemption that Jesus provided came at a great cost and with much suffering. He then told the disciples that He was sending them forth in the same manner in which the Father sent Him ( John 20:21). Within the context of this meeting, the disciples would have understood that they too were to carry their cross. The next verse says that Jesus Christ breathed upon them and they received the Holy Spirit ( John 20:22). This would now empower the disciples to suffer for His name's sake.

d) The Witness of Thomas ( John 20:24-29) - John 20:24-29 tells us the testimony of Thomas when he first met the risen Lord. Note how Jesus addressed Thomas' confession of faith to see nail prints in hand and thrust hand in side. Jesus met him at his point of faith.

H. Summary: The Author Testifies of All of His Miracles ( John 20:30-31) - In John 20:30-31 the author gives us an epilogue to the section which comprises seven feasts and seven miracles. He concludes by telling us that Jesus Christ did many other miracles during His earthly ministry. However, he picked these seven in order that we might believe that Jesus Christ is truly the Christ, the Son of God. Thus, the purpose of these miracles is to serve as infallible proof that Jesus is the Son of God, which reflects the third theme of the Gospel of John. In fact, all four Gospels serve as a testimony to the deity of Jesus Christ.

IV. The Testimony of Jesus Christ Himself ( John 21:1-23) - The Gospel of John closes in chapter 21with the fifth testimony, that of Jesus calling His disciples, and us, to follow Him. Therefore, after hearing the witness of four others testifying of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have Jesus making a personal and final call to follow Him. Thus, this section closes with Jesus Christ saying, "Follow thou me," ( John 21:22).

V. The Epilogue of John the Apostle ( John 21:24-25 ) - The final two verses of John's Gospel serves as an epilogue which summarizes and concludes the five-fold testimony that he has written about in this book.

Summary- In summary, the first major division of John's Gospel, the testimony of the Father ( John 1:1-18), reveals God the Father's divine foreknowledge in sending His Son into the world to redeem mankind. The second major division, the testimony of John the Baptist and his disciples ( John 1:19-51), reveals the divine calling for all mankind to follow Jesus Christ as the Lamb slain for the sins of mankind. The third major division, the testimony of Christ's miracles ( John 2:1 to John 11:54), reveals the process of justification that Christ provides for every child of God to bring them into glorification with the Father. The fourth major division, the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures ( John 11:55 to John 20:31), reveals the future glorification of every believer who believes in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

The Purpose of Structuring the Gospel of John around the Festivals - Why did John divide the sections of his Gospel according to seven Jewish feasts? One suggestion is found in John 7:11-12 which tells us that the people were anxiously expecting Him to attend the feast. Apparently Jesus wrought a great deal of miracles at these festive times and John received much spiritual insight into the meaning behind the Jewish feasts as a way of explaining the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. We know that the Jews would have their minds on the things of God and their rich history of divine guidance during such festivals. We read in John 11:55 that the people arrived a few days early before the Passover in order to purify themselves. Thus, theses feasts served as a religious pilgrimage designed to bring them closer to God. Jesus took these special opportunities to teach the people and minister to their needs. We also see in the book of Acts that many important events took place around Jewish festivals. For example, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost ( Acts 2:1). Also, Paul ended two of his missionary journeys in order to attend the feast a Jerusalem ( Acts 18:21; Acts 20:16).

The Testimonies of Jesus Correspond to the Festivals and to His Miracles - In addition, this section of John's Gospel ( John 2:1 to John 11:54) records many testimonies of Jesus Christ as He uses the backdrop of the festivals and miracles to bear witness of His deity. For example, the Feast of Tabernacles celebrates the beginning of the wanderings in the wilderness. With these wanderings God provided the rock from which flowed fresh, "living" water, or clear, unpolluted water. Paul refers to this water in his epistle to the Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 10:4, "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."

Thus, Jesus cried out that He was that Rock, the Living Water, which the Israelites partook of in their wilderness journeys. Jesus was trying to relate to them by the events emphasized at each of the Jewish feasts that He attended. For example, at the last Passover Jesus miraculously fed the five thousand and then told the people that He was the Bread of Life ( John 6). At the Feast of Tabernacles Jesus Christ will heal the blind man and then declared that He is the Light of the World ( John 9:1-11). Prior to the final Passover referred to in John 12:1, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead as a way to declare that He was the Resurrection and the Life ( John 11).

Also, in each of the miracles of this section the author takes the time to reveal Jesus' rejection by the Jews and acceptance by the Gentiles. Thus, John 2:1 to John 11:57 frequently makes a contrast between those who believed because of these miracles and those Jews who did not believe.

The seventh and final miracle that will be emphasized in John's Gospel will be found during the seventh and final Passover feast in which Jesus Christ is resurrected from the dead by the power of the Father. This miracle of the resurrection is the focus of the next section, which gives us the testimony of Jesus' deity from Scripture ( John 12:12 to John 20:31).

Comparing the Structure of John's Gospel to the Book of Revelation - It is important to note that the structure of the book of Revelation is similar to that of John's Gospel. Both place emphasis upon the number seven within these structures. John's Gospel can be divided according to the seven feasts around which Jesus' ministry is focused. During each of the seven feasts Jesus Christ performs a miracle that demonstrates to the Jews that He is the Son of God. However, during the seventh feast, the final Passover which records the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord, John reveals seven Old Testament prophecies that are fulfilled during His Passion. In a similar manner, John's Apocalypse gives us the opening of seven seal by the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world. In opening these seven seals, Jesus Christ testifies to the world that He is the Son of God. During the opening of the seventh and final seal, there are seven trumpet blasts that take place.

Although the Gospel of John can be broken down in parts according to these five witnesses, we see Jesus testifying of His relationship with the Father woven throughout the entire Gospel. Therefore, this fourth Gospel emphasizes the testimony of the Father about His Song of Solomon , while the Synoptic Gospels emphasize the other three testimonies of the Scripture (Matthew), His miracles (Mark) and John the Baptist with other eyewitnesses (Luke).

XII. Outline of Book

The following outline is a summary of the preceding literary structure; thus, it reflects the theological framework of the Gospel of John: its purpose, its three-fold thematic scheme, and its literary structure. As a result, this outline offers sermon sections that fit together into a single message that can be used by preachers and teachers to guide a congregation or class through the Gospel of John. This journey through John will lead believers into one aspect of conformity to the image of Christ Jesus that was intended by the Lord, which in this book of the Holy Scriptures is to stir faith in the heart of man to accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God and to prepare Christians to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the world by caring for and shepherding other believers.

I. The Testimony of the Father— John 1:1-18

A. The Divine Nature of Jesus as the Word— John 1:1-5

B. The Father Sends John the Baptist— John 1:6-13

1. Testimony of the Light— John 1:6-9

2. Rejected by Some— John 1:10-11

3. Accepted by Others— John 1:12-13

C. The 5-Fold Testimony Sent by God— John 1:14-18

1. The Testimony of the Father — John 1:14

2. The Testimony of John the Baptist— John 1:15

3. The Testimony of His Works— John 1:16

4. The Testimony of Scripture— John 1:17

5. The Testimony of Jesus' Himself— John 1:18

II. The Testimony of John and His Disciples— John 1:19-51

A. John's Testimony to the Jewish Leaders— John 1:19-28

B. John Testifies of The Lamb of God (Jesus' Baptism)— John 1:29-34

C. The Testimony of John's Disciples— John 1:35-51

1. The Testimony of John & Andrew— John 1:35-42

2. The Testimony of Philip & Nathanael— John 1:43-51

III. The Testimony of Jesus' Miracles— John 2:1 to John 20:31

A. 1st Miracle & Testimony at the Wedding Feast— John 2:1-11

B. 2nd Miracle & Testimonies at the First Passover— John 2:12 to John 4:54

1. Jesus' Testimony to the Jews of His Divine Calling— John 2:12 to John 3:21

a) Jesus Cleanses the Temple & Testifies— John 2:12-22

b) The Jews Respond to His Calling— John 2:23 to John 3:21

i) Many Believe in His Miracles— John 2:23-25

ii) The Example of Nicodemus' Faith— John 3:1-21

2. John the Baptist's Final Testimony of His Divine Calling— John 3:22-36

3. Jesus' Testimony to the Gentiles of His Divine Calling— John 4:1-54

a) Testimony of the Samaritan Woman— John 4:1-42

b) The Testimony of the Galileans— John 4:43-54

i) The Galileans Accept Jesus— John 4:43-45

ii) Second Miracle (Healing of a Gentile)— John 4:46-54

C. 3rd Miracle & Testimonies at the Feast of the Jews — John 5:1-47

1. The Third Miracle (Healing at the Pool of Bethesda)— John 5:1-18

2. Jesus Gives the Jews Four Witnesses of Himself— John 5:19-47

a) Jesus Testifies of Himself— John 5:19-31

b) Testimony of John the Baptist— John 5:32-35

c) Testimony of His Works— John 5:36

d) Testimony of the Father— John 5:37-38

e) Testimony of the Scriptures— John 5:39-47

D. 4th Miracle & Testimonies at the Second Passover — John 6:1-71

1. The Fourth Miracle (Feeding of the Five Thousand)— John 6:1-15

2. Jesus Walking on the Water— John 6:16-21

3. Jesus Testifies of His Deity (The Bread of Life)— John 6:22-59

4. The Response from the Disciples— John 6:60-71

E. 5th Miracle & Testimonies at the Feast of Tabernacles— John 7:1 to John 10:21

1. Jesus Testifies of His Deity (His Doctrine)— John 7:1-36

2. Jesus Testifies of His Deity (The Living Water)— John 7:37 to John 8:1

3. Jesus Testifies of His Deity (The Light of the World)— John 8:2-59

a) The Woman Caught in Adultery— John 8:2-11

b) Jesus Testifies to the Jewish Leaders— John 8:12-59

4. The Fifth Miracle (Healing of a Blind Man)— John 9:1 to John 10:21

a) The Healing of the Blind Man— John 9:1-34

b) Jesus Testifies of His Deity (The Good Shepherd) — John 9:35 to John 10:21

F. 6th Miracle & Testimonies at the Feast of Dedication— John 10:22 to John 11:54

1. Jesus Testifies of His Deity (His Works)— John 10:22-42

2. The Sixth Miracle (Testimony of Lazarus)— John 11:1-54

a) Jesus Testifies of His Deity (Resurrection & Life)— John 11:1-27

b) The Raising of Lazarus— John 11:28-44

c) The Plot to Kill Jesus— John 11:45-54

G. 7th Miracle & The Testimony of Scriptures — John 11:55 to John 20:29

1. Prologue to the Last Passover Feast— John 11:55-57

2. His Anointing at Bethany — John 12:1-11

3. His Triumphant Entry & Last Public Appearance— John 12:12-50

a) 1Scripture Fulfilled - Triumphant Entry— John 12:12-19

b) Jesus Testifies of His Glorification— John 12:20-36

c) 2Scripture Fulfilled - Rejection by the Jews— John 12:37-41

d) Jesus' Last Testimony (The Light of the World)— John 12:42-50

4. The Last Supper— John 13:1 to John 17:26

a) Jesus- Jesus Foreshadows His office as Great High Priest— John 13:1-38

i) Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet— John 13:1-17

ii) Two Examples of Sin and the need for Cleansing— John 13:18-38

(1) 3rd Scripture Fulfilled - Judas Iscariot's Betrayal— John 13:18-30

(2) Peter's Fall— — John 13:31-38

b) The Holy Spirit - The Comforter— John 14:1 to John 16:33

i) The Coming of the Holy Spirit — John 14:1-31

(1) The Other Comforter— John 14:1-27

(2) Jesus Discusses His Departure— John 14:28-31

ii) Abiding in the Spirit— John 15:1 to John 16:4

(1) The True Vine— John 15:1-17

(2) 4th Scripture Fulfilled - Hatred from the World— John 15:18 to John 16:4

iii) The Work of the Spirit— John 16:5-33

(1) Convicting the World of Sin— John 16:5-15

(2) The Authority of the Believer— John 16:16-33

c) The Father- Jesus Commends Disciples unto the Father— John 17:1-26

i) Jesus Prays for His Own Glorification— John 17:1-5

ii) Jesus Prays for the Glorification of His Disciples— John 17:6-26

5. Jesus' Betrayal and Arrest— John 18:1-11

6. Jesus' Trials— John 18:12 to John 19:16 a

a) Jesus before the High Priest & Peter's Denials— John 18:12-27

b) Jesus before Pilate— John 18:28 to John 19:16 a

7. Jesus' Crucifixion & Burial— John 19:16 b-42

a) Jesus is Crucified— John 19:16-22

b) Fifth Scripture Fulfilled - Cast Lots for Garment — John 19:23-24

c) Jesus' Mother at the Cross— John 19:25-27

d) Jesus' Death— John 19:28-30

e) Sixth Scripture Fulfilled - No bones broken— John 19:31-36

f) Seventh Scripture Fulfilled - His side pierced— John 19:37

g) Jesus' Burial— John 19:38-42

8. Jesus' Resurrection (The Seventh Miracle)— John 20:1-29

a) Witnesses of Peter & John at the Tomb— John 20:1-10

b) Witness of Mary Magdalene at the Tomb— John 20:11-18

c) Witness of the Disciples— John 20:19-23

d) Witness of Thomas— John 20:24-29

H. Summary: The Author Testifies of All of His Miracles— John 20:30-31

V. The Testimony of Jesus — John 21:1-23

VI. Epilogue— John 21:24-25

BIBLIOGRAPHY

COMMENTARY BIBLIOGRAPHY

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Youngblood, R. F, F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison, and Thomas Nelson Publishers. Nelson"s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, rev. ed. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995. In Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004).

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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